According to the Wall Street Journal, Congress is getting ready to give Washington, D. C., full voting rights in the House of Representatives.
The Heritage Foundation has also weighed in on this issue. They point out that:
“The Constitution’s District Clause, in Article I, Section 8, declares the District of Columbia to be subject directly to the federal legislature. “The Congress shall have power,” it reads,
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….
Contemporary constitutional analysis upholds Congress’s exclusive authority over the District. As a federal court stated in a 2004 opinion, “the District and its residents are the subjects of Congress’s unique powers, exercised to address the unique circumstances of our nation’s capital.””
It seems that there are a few interesting issues here. Washington, D. C., is an example of the governing ability of Congress–Congress is in charge of administering the city. The city has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country (most Democrats love restrictive gun laws) and one of the highest murder rates in the country. The city schools are among the worst in the nation. Washington, D. C., does not have a reputation of being a well-governed city. How would having a vote in the House of Representatives help solve this problem?
Aside from being unconstitutional, this is simply a bad idea. It accomplishes nothing except to provide one more Democrat vote in the House of Representatives. (Washington, D. C., tends to be liberal–it was the only ‘state’ other than Massachusetts to vote for George McGovern.) This is attempt by President Obama and the Democrat Congress to make sure they stay in power, regardless of any Constitutional issues that may be involved.