February 13, 2007
License plates in Our Nation's Capital display the protest slogan, "Taxation Without Representation," and their grievance is a just one. The Congressional Research Service has concluded that legislation that would give the District of Columbia a full-fledged seat in the House of Representatives is probably unconstitutional. It is a compromise that would add two seats (temporarily raising the total from 435 to 437) -- one for D.C. and one for Utah, which would be "next in line" for a seat under the formula for apportioning seats by population. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); it's interesting that she can sponsor bills and can vote in committees, but cannot cast votes on the House floor. See Washington Post. I expressed support for that proposal made by Rep. Davis in May 2005. Too many people see the issue in purely partisan terms of whether the Democrats should be given an automatic extra seat in the House, which is why the compromise was proposed. Some Democrats want to give increased voting rights in the House (allowing them to vote in all procedural questions) to the D.C. delegates and to the delegates from Puerto Rico, Guam, etc. But the constitutional issue is most important, and it will probably take an amendment for D.C. to get its seat in the House.
Rep. Davis has also introduced a bill that would repeal the law that facilitated use of the National Guard by the federal government during emergencies. Many people had qualms about relying on the Guard for for domestic law enforcement on a routine basis. I agree with the News Leader that Davis deserves praise for resisting the centralization of power in Washington.
As I expected, Amanda Marcotte has resigned as the head blogger for the presidential campaign of Democrat John Edwards. See nationaljournal.com, via Instapundit.