***PRESS RELEASE*** Rohrabacher Offers DC Voting Rights Bill Alternative
Washington, Jan 27, 2009 - Today, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) submitted written testimony to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on Judiciary, in support of his proposed “Plan B” District of Columbia voting rights alternative bill, H.R. 665 [PDF]. Rep. Rohrabacher’s bill, the District of Columbia Voting Rights Restoration Act of 2009, would restore the rights D.C. residents had to vote in Maryland’s federal elections after the creation of the District of Columbia but prior to Congress fully exercising its power of “exclusive legislation” over the District in 1800. H.R. 665 provides voting representation for District residents in both the House and Senate and complies with the Constitution’s requirement that federal representatives come through states, in this case, Maryland.
“The Democrat leadership is insisting on approaching voting rights in DC in a way that’s advantageous to them but will never pass the Supreme Court,” said Rohrabacher. “ I have introduced an alternative that would give District residents the right to vote for both members of the House and the Senate by allowing them to vote through Maryland. This is clearly the best approach and will be a good test to see if Democrats are willing to accept Republican ideas that accomplish the goals they set out.”
Rohrabacher cites the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, which allows U.S. citizens living oversees to vote in federal elections (not state or local), as precedent for the congressional authority outlined in H.R. 665. Rohrabacher points out the Constitution clearly states that Representatives can only come from states, not from federal enclaves under the authority of Congress.