Minority Whip Steny Hoyer introduced a resolution Thursday that would restore the Delegates and Resident Commissioner’s right to vote in the House Committee of the Whole.
The Maryland Democrat had said Wednesday that he would introduce the resolution, after Republicans passed a rules package that included stripping the votes.
“It is absolutely unacceptable to deny nearly 5 million Americans a voice in Congress,” Hoyer said in a statement. “I hope Republicans work with us to reinstate this fair and common sense policy, rather than disenfranchising millions of citizens.”
“Stripping from us the only vote we have ever had was particularly heartbreaking for the District of Columbia, which barely missed getting full House voting rights last year,” the D.C. Democrat said. “Our residents will always stand in solidarity with other delegates serving in the House, who insist on each and every right to which we are entitled.”
The other Delegates — Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa), Donna Christensen (Virgin Islands), Madeleine Bordallo (Guam) and Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands) — along with Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi issued concurrent statements supporting Hoyer’s resolution. All of the Delegates and the Resident Commissioner are Democrats.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.