Debate

Will D.C. Get a House Seat?

The Senate voted yesterday, for the first time since 1978, to consider a Washington D.C. voting-rights bill that could give the District its first Congressional seat. The bill would pair the D.C. seat with a new seat in deeply conservative Utah, in order to appease conservatives. The measure is spearheaded by Senators Joseph Lieberman and Orrin G. Hatch, who note the District is often treated legally as a state in other manners, but it is viewed by some as unconstitutional. Senate Minority Whip John Kyl opposed the bill, saying that Washington D.C. "already has representation in Congress—100 senators and 435 House members,” while D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty called the initial Senate vote "a breakthrough in the full franchise of the people of the District of Columbia." The final vote could occur as soon as tomorrow.