Friday, April 20, 2007

Politicians Attempt Subversion of Constitution; Cheer Themselves on

From today's Washington Post:

A bill giving the District its first full seat in Congress cleared the House yesterday, marking the city's biggest legislative victory in its quest for voting rights in nearly three decades.

Democrats on the House floor burst into applause, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) grabbed the arms of the District's nonvoting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, as the 241 to 177 vote was announced.

"There was nothing but joy in the chamber this afternoon, because we knew we had given this bill the kind of send-off that can get it through the Senate," Norton (D) said later. ...

Supporters called the bill's passage their biggest victory since 1978, when Congress approved a constitutional amendment to give the city two senators and a House representative. The amendment died after failing to win passage by enough states. The current legislation would not give the District senators.

A news conference after the vote drew a jubilant group of members of Congress, D.C. leaders and activists. They hugged and shook hands, savoring the moment.

Yay! But, naturally, someone has to fund this affront to the Constitution:

The voting rights bill will cost about $2.5 million, largely because of the costs of the Utah seat. According to the legislation passed yesterday, the money will be raised by requiring people with incomes of at least $5 million a year to pay taxes slightly earlier.

"It will affect only 4,000 multimillionaires," said Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who led the Democrats' debate on the measure.

But Republicans fumed over the legislative engineering and Democratic efforts to keep them from offering amendments. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) called it "Orwellian democracy."

Hey, at least they're having fun!

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