WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Monday joined thousands of District of Columbia citizens in pushing for D.C. voting representation in Congress, after more than two decades of legislative holdups to equal representation.
“How many roads must the citizens of our nation’s capital walk down before they get full voting representation?” Lieberman asked at a DC Vote rally, echoing Bob Dylan’s famous protest song, “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
The District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007, co-sponsored by the District’s non-voting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va., would give the 600,000 Americans who live in D.C. a voting seat in the House of Representatives and would increase by one seat the Utah House delegation, based on recent census bureau data.
Lieberman vowed to “carry the torch” and bring the House-passed legislation to the Senate floor for a full vote, saying “we are closer than we have ever been” to clinching a vote for D.C.
“The deprivation of equal voting rights for residents of our nation’s capitol is an injustice. It is inconsistent with the founding principles of our nation,” Lieberman said. “This is our opportunity to do right here at home, just as we have done throughout our history for our democratic allies abroad. This bill is a dramatic step forward.”
The rally for equal voting rights for the District fittingly came on the 145th Anniversary of Lincoln’s emancipation of 3,100 slaves in Washington, D.C. Lieberman, who has sponsored legislation for expanded D.C. voting rights every year since 2002, said in prepared remarks that the measure will help free District citizens “from a different kind of bond – the bond of disenfranchisement.”
“American history has shown that if justice is not being done, we change the law. We, in the House and Senate, are going to make that happen. It is time to put an end to taxation without representation. That is why, once this legislation passes through the House, I will proudly bring it before my colleagues in the Senate,” Lieberman said. “By giving the citizens of the District of Columbia a vote in the House, we will ensure not only that their voices will finally be heard; we will be following the imperative of our history.”