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U.S. Senate to vote on DC House seat

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- District of Columbia leaders say a milestone in their efforts to gain a voting member in the U.S. House of Representative is approaching.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote this week on a bill to establish a House seat for the District, which includes the city of Washington, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moved Friday to send the bill to the Senate floor for debate Feb. 23 -- the first major bill on tap after Congress returns from the Presidents' Day break -- with a preliminary vote scheduled for Feb. 24, the newspaper said.

A similar effort failed in 2007 when Democrats could not secure the 60 votes needed to push the bill through the Senate.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's non-voting delegate to the House, predicted a bipartisan group of 63 or 64 senators will support the move this year.

"We do believe we have the votes," she said, adding she expects "mischief" from senators who are opposed to the bill.

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