Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who is Washington's nonvoting congressional representative, predicted the issue will be back up soon for a successful vote.
The proposal giving D.C. its first full voting representation in more than 200 years was expected to be passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress.
But, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, halted action Thursday by seeking to add language to the bill to repeal much of the District's gun ban. Though the ban was struck down by a federal appeals court earlier this month it temporarily remains in effect.
Conservative, pro-gun Democrats found themselves in a tangled web of either possibly killing the motion with "yes" vote or appearing to support strict gun control with a "no," the Washington Times said.