Campus Notebook: Voting Rights Optimism

Posted March 24, 2009 at 6:25pm

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that he hopes to bring the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act to the floor before the House goes into recess on April 3.

[IMGCAP(1)]But Members still haven’t reached an agreement on whether that legislation will have a controversial amendment attached. House leaders originally pulled the bill from the calendar in early March because of the amendment, which would strike most of the District’s gun laws.

Hoyer said lawmakers and voting rights advocates were making progress on how to deal with that issue.

“If I think we can get a rule and a bill approved before we leave this Easter break, I am going to do that,— he told reporters Tuesday. “And the good news is I schedule the bills, so as soon as I think that is achievable, I am going to schedule it.—

A leadership aide said the bill is unlikely to come up this week, leaving only next week for legislative action before the two-week recess.

So far, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) and voting rights advocates haven’t secured enough votes for an amendment-free bill. That’s at least partly because the National Rifle Association has reportedly threatened to adversely “score— Members who vote to consider the bill without the gun amendment.

Boehner’s Budget Blog. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Tuesday that his office will live blog the House Budget Committee hearing on President Barack Obama’s budget.

The blog will “provide regular updates on [the committee’s] progress, including votes on key amendments, throughout the day,— according to a press release.

In the past, newspapers were alone in their blog updates from the committee room. But Members are increasingly updating constituents directly and instantaneously, through services such as Twitter.

Boehner mostly uses his blog, at gopleader.gov/blog, to blast the Obama administration’s policies and to post the news of the day. His staff will begin blogging when the budget hearing begins at 10:30 a.m. today.

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