Lieberman Sponsors D.C. Representation Bill

Joe Lieberman and Orrin Hatch are co-sponsoring a bill that would give a new member of the House of Representatives to both Utah (whose population has increased) and the District of Columbia (which has no voting representative in the House).

Kudos to him. This is a good idea whose time came a while ago. The idea behind giving Utah another seat is that both Republicans and Democrats are likely to pick up a seat, instead of just the Democrats getting one from Washington D.C.

The nation’s capital will still not a have a senator, however. I liked the idea of expanding either Maryland or Virginia’s senate district to include D.C. Maybe half and half? It isn’t fair that Washington doesn’t have the same rights as the rest of us.

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15 responses to “Lieberman Sponsors D.C. Representation Bill

  1. Half and half? Doesn’t seem like the map guy has looked at a map. 😉 DC is carved out of Maryland (they’re on the same side of the Potomac).

    The fed could try giving DC back to Maryland. Not sure if Maryland would want it, though.

  2. Isn’t DC mentioned in the Constitution? If so, a Constitutional amendment could do the trick.

  3. Besides, I’m sure Lieberman is just trying to show his bipartisan colors…

    is it 2012 yet? Can we fire him yet? Oh wait… I’m getting ahead of myself… first we gotta fire Dodd, then Joe.

    Maybe we can get Himes to run against Dodd, then we can see Ned in The Rematch.

  4. easthartfordtaxpayer

    Joe Lieberman and Orrin Hatch are co-sponsoring a bill that would give a new member of the House of Representatives to both Utah (whose population has increased) and the District of Columbia (which has no voting representative in the House).

    Kudos to him. This is a good idea whose time came a while ago. The idea behind giving Utah another seat is that both Republicans and Democrats are likely to pick up a seat, instead of just the Democrats getting one from Washington D.C.

    In case you aren’t aware DC is not a state. It’s a federal district controlled by congress. No state, no representative. It took a constitutional amendment to give DC the vote and I’d think it would take a constitutional amendment to change it’s status as a federal district controlled by congress to allow for it to become a state and gain the benefits and responsibilities that come along with statehood or be treated as a state for the purposes of representative apportionment.

    From Article 1 Section 8:
    To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;

    DC is represented by all members of Congress, which includes the House and Senate. No further representation is needed. If the people don’t feel represented they ought to be banging on the doors of congress to demand that the existing members live up to article 1 section 8.

  5. EHT- This is DC. These folks go through the exact same issues people in Maryland/Virginia go through every day. They pay federal taxes. As a result they deserve representation. Period. There is no logical argument otherwise.

    It’s the old school idiotic Earth-is-flat conservative thinking that the constitution can never, ever, at all be interpreted by anyone, lest we foul the great conclusions drawn up by a bunch of wealthy bigoted aristocrats from the 1770’s.

    Would you like to go back to counting blacks as three-fifths of a person? Oh, wait, it doesn’t mention the Air Force, so I guess we should abolish that too.

    Times change. DC deserves a representative.

  6. easthartfordtaxpayer

    It’s the old school idiotic Earth-is-flat conservative thinking that the constitution can never, ever, at all be interpreted by anyone, lest we foul the great conclusions drawn up by a bunch of wealthy bigoted aristocrats from the 1770’s.

    The constitution is clear. DC is not a state and only states get the benefits of representation. That’s not open for interpretation.

    The constitution is not a document you can pick and choose from. Bush shared that philosophy and it got us free speech zones, unconstitutional wars and constitution free zones.

    If DC needs representation than there needs to be an amendment; I refuse to leave my liberties at the majority vote of career politicians.

  7. The proposal has been raised almost annually for a number of years since I went to college in DC. The exactly issues EHT raises are the main ones why the proposal has been defeated in the past. The Constitution is very specific on the makeup of Congress and the designation of the District, so a simple law would fall short in correcting the unfairness to the actual residents of the District.

    Two notes regarding history. The District originally did include a portion on the Virginia side. I believe this was ceded back to Virginia sometime around the Civil War. Perhaps sooner.

    Secondly, part of this proposal has also contained a geographic demarkation of the “Federal District” to include primarily the Capitol, Supreme Court, Federal Triangle area which includes most downtown federal buildins, the Mall and monuments and the White House. This more clearly allows the average resident (instead of the lobbyists and legislators who are merely there for business) to be conuted separately from federal government functions.

    It is this issues also that is raised when pertaining to lesgislatin.

  8. lest we foul the great conclusions drawn up by a bunch of wealthy bigoted aristocrats from the 1770’s.

    Actually a pack of the most altruistic characters like we’ve never seen since in such numbers.

    Not a history buff I take it.

  9. EHT- Misunderstood your thinking on it. Voting on an amendment is fair enough. It should happen, and I think it would pass.

    ACR- Altruism doesn’t let you pick and choose. 3/5ths of a person, ACR. I guess you think that’s quite brave of them to look out for their well-being that way.

  10. Also, the “altruistic” founding fathers have nothing on the thousands of young white people in the 60’s who risked, and in some cases lost, their own lives in the fight for equal rights throughout the Deep South. Even Lieberman.

    THAT’S altruism.

  11. BD… from my perspective, the Founders risked their Lives, their Fortunes and their sacred Honor. The key component being their Honor.

    At that moment in time, they would have been considered traitors. I was born in ’72 and have no direct knowledge of the civil rights activists of the 60s… closest thing was my own mini civil rights tours I’ve done on vacation. And yes, some of that stuff brought me to tears… you’d be heartless to not see their sacrifice.

    But for all the flaws (and they were enormous), I don’t see how the acts of the Founders can be equated to anyone else in American history. To me, doing what is right… in the face of being deemed a traitor to your country… that is more powerful than anything that’s happened in the subsequent 230 or so years.

    Risking your life is one thing. Risking your fortune is another thing. But risking your honor is entirely different… not only to be remembered in history as a traitor… but also to run the risk of having your family killed.

  12. To those of us who are old enough to have lived through the 60’s, and even participated in the civil rights movement, Abbie Hoffman was no George Washington and Sen. Lieberman was no Tom Jefferson. The Freedom Riders who went South to destroy the remnants of Jim Crow were brave, resolute and honorable, but they did not fashion a country out of the wilderness and give us both a constitution or a nation that now, at long last, has produced its first African American president. Nor did they lay down their lives in a bloody Civil War, fought to preserve the union and later to free the slave. It is doubtful that the back of Jim Crow could have been broken without the efforts of these brave people. They should be honored for what they did.

  13. Had the Founding Fathers made slaves whole, the Civil War wouldn’t have happened. The nation would not have even have been formed at that time. The southern colonies would not even accept the Constitution and could very well have formed their own government or stayed as independent as they were under the Articles.

    We would have had a very different history. Not all progress can all at once. That’s why they call it progress.

  14. easthartfordtaxpayer:
    You say:
    “DC is represented by all members of Congress, which includes the House and Senate. No further representation is needed. If the people don’t feel represented they ought to be banging on the doors of congress to demand that the existing members live up to article 1 section 8. ”

    Ever heard of “ELECTED” representatives? Representatives represent the people who can VOTE for them. Your statement goes beyond disengenuous and buries the needle in the stupid direction. Come with me sometime and help me try “banging on the doors of congress to demand that the existing members live up to article 1 section 8. ” First of all, no member of Congress will talk to anyone who is not from the state or district that elects them. And secondly, even if you are, the Capitol Police are right at your elbow to throw you out on your a** at the first sign of “banging”n anything. GET REAL!

  15. Wolcottboy:

    We would have had a very different history. Not all progress can [happen] all at once. That’s why they call it progress.

    Agreed. We “fixed” the three-fifths rule in a bit less than 50 years (Missouri Compromise, 1820). Then we “fixed” the black male vote issue (on paper, anyway), 50 years later (1870). Another 50 years later we “fixed” the Woman Suffrage issue (1920). Fifty MORE years and we “fixed” the 18-20 year old vote issue (1970, and I was 19 at the time). Now we are well into the next 50-year period (ending in 2020), and I say it’s time to “fix” the DC vote situation. I don’t think we are “rushing” the situation. Do you?

    “6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assembled for the public good.”

    Virginia Declaration of Rights, June12, 1776

    Do we still believe in these principles, or do we not?

    Mason, Madison and others of the Founders recommended that we rely on “frequent recurrence to fundamental principles” as we strive toward a more perfect Union. Fundamental principles must in the long-run trump constitutional provisions, especially those which are arguably artificial, anachronistic, and arbitrary.

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