News Release

COG Board Votes to Support D.C. House Voting Rights Bill

Mar 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC - The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors voted today to support H.R. 1433, the D.C. House Voting Rights Act.  The resolution, which would grant a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to the delegate representing the District, passed amid strong comments of support, with one abstention.

COG Chair Vincent C. Gray, who also is chair of the Council of the District, called the measure “a wonderful boost for the entire region.  This gave our board members a chance to weigh-in and say we understand the injustice endured by the people of the District of Columbia and we believe this bill should pass.”

Chairman Gray noted that it is “ironic” that citizens of the District must go over to Iraq to fight for democracy” even though they don’t have democratic representation in the U.S. Congress.

Gerald E. Connolly, a COG Board member and Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said he is a strong supporter of congressional voting rights for the District, but also wondered if the House bill might trigger a redistricting fight because it grants an additional seat to the state of Utah.  Chair Gray said the provision is a “trade-off” that might represent the only path forward on the issue for D.C.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform approved the bill yesterday and it is expected to come up for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow.  If the bill is approved by that panel, the entire House would vote on the measure before April 2.

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