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Norton to GOP: Support Democracy for D.C., Not Just Hong Kong

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., is urging Republican senators who called on President Barack Obama to support the democracy movement in Hong Kong to also support democracy in D.C.  

A bipartisan group of senators, including 10 Republicans and 11 Democrats, sent a letter to the president Thursday, urging Obama to "voice U.S. support for full democracy in Hong Kong." The group included senators from both ends of the political spectrum who united to write, "[We] strongly support the Hong Kong people’s aspiration for universal suffrage and full democracy."  

In a statement issued later in the day, Norton applauded the show of support for those in Hong Kong fighting for democracy. However, she noted that all of the Republicans who signed the letter and were in the Senate in 2009 voted that year against granting D.C. voting rights on the House floor.  

"I hope the Republican signatories recognize their inconsistency in supporting democracy abroad while actively opposing it in their own nation’s capital,” Norton said.  

Norton is the District's only official representative in Congress and she cannot vote on the House floor.  

The D.C. statehood movement did reach a milestone in the Senate this year, with the first hearing on the subject in two decades . However, as Norton acknowledged after the hearing, achieving D.C. statehood in the gridlocked 113th Congress is very unlikely.  

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of Republicans who voted against D.C. voting rights in 2009.  

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