Hatch Opposes Plan for D.C. Vote

Posted April 15, 2010 at 10:09am

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) this morning denounced a plan to move legislation to the House floor that would give Washingtonians a voting Member of Congress.

The current legislation, which passed the Senate last year, would give one seat to the District and another temporarily to conservative-leaning Utah. If the bill passes, Utah will elect a temporary Member at-large rather than after a redistricting of the state. Hatch says he opposes the legislation because it will give the at-large Representative three times as many constituents as the three others.

“Utah deserves an additional seat in the House, but like every other state it should have the freedom to elect its House members from regular districts,” Hatch said in a statement. “The federal government has no business dictating to any state which approach they must use.”

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Wednesday that he plans to bring the legislation, long championed by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), to the House floor as early as next week. The bill was poised to pass both chambers last year but fell after a controversial gun amendment was attached.

Hatch said he would attempt to filibuster the bill if it passes the House and returns to the Senate floor.