Setback for D.C. seat in Congress

April 22, 2007 at 12:08 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- A bill that would give the District of Columbia a vote in the U.S. Congress has received a setback in the Senate.

The measure has passed the House, but a ruling Friday by the Senate parliamentarian will slow the bill's progress in the Senate. The parliamentarian ruled that the Finance Committee has jurisdiction, The Washington Post reported.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. -- who heads the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee -- had been planning to move the bill quickly. Lieberman is a major backer of voting rights for the capital city.

"Today, a new wrench has been thrown into the works," a Senate staffer who did not want to be named told the Post. "But it is definitely something that we can overcome."

The bill would create two new voting seats in the House, one for the District of Columbia and the other for Utah. That would almost certainly split the seats between the two parties.

The district currently has a congressional delegate who cannot participate in floor votes.

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