WAMU 88.5 : News

D.C. Delegate Loses Voting Rights

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Rules adopted Wednesday to govern the House of Representatives take away the limited floor voting rights of six delegates -- including that of D.C's delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton.

The GOP's decision to rescind the ability of delegates to vote on amendments on the House floor was not surprising.

Democrats extended those voting rights in 1993 when they controlled the House. Republicans eliminated them when they took the majority in 1995, and Democrats restored delegate rights when they regained control in 2007.

In anticipation of the latest Republican move, District leaders protested on Capitol Hill Tuesday. And Wednesday Norton tried another tactic: She offered a motion to set up a special committee to study the delegate voting issue.

It was defeated on a party-line vote.

The other delegates affected by the new rules represent Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Those delegates represent more than 4 million constituents.

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