Hoyer: D.C. Will Get Voting Rights This Year

Posted March 10, 2009 at 12:38pm

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday predicted that the D.C. voting rights bill will pass into law this year, despite the measure being yanked from the schedule as Republicans lobby to add gun-rights provisions.“I hate to make that prediction, given the fact that whatever we do will have to go back to the United States Senate,— Hoyer said. “That perhaps is too big a step for me to take, but we’ll pass it through the House.—Hoyer, a longtime supporter of giving D.C. voting representation in the House, lamented that pro-gun-rights lawmakers are blocking the bill in an effort to add an amendment by Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) that would loosen the city’s gun safety laws. Hoyer wouldn’t give specifics on when the bill might reach the House floor.“We know that the Childers amendment enjoys majority support before the House of Representatives. Given that, we have to work within that context,— Hoyer said. “We’re making some progress on creating consensus on how we get this done.—He suggested that one possible way forward on the bill would be to offer a separate vote on the gun amendment. “If that, frankly, got us there, I’d be for that option. I’m for the option that gets us there,— Hoyer said.Another option is persuading pro-gun-rights lawmakers to vote for the bill and potentially take a hit from the gun lobby in exchange for getting a later vote on a separate gun-rights measure. “That’s certainly one of the things we’re discussing,— Hoyer said.Asked about a proposed amendment by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that would instruct the Federal Communications Commission to create diversity in media ownership, Hoyer said he would “prefer it wasn’t on there.—The bill should focus strictly on giving a vote to the District, he said. “Not guns. Not FCC. Not anything else. … I’m sorry there have been extraneous issues put on this bill.—