Mayor Vince Gray and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton led a charge Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill in a last-ditch effort to keep the District's only — and very limited — vote in Congress.
Gray called the Republican-led effort to eliminate Norton's vote in the House's Committee of the Whole "the most outrageous insult imaginable."
He said two years ago, with a Democrat entering the White House and the party in control of Congress, he thought "the stars were aligned" for the city to win full voting rights. Those dreams were scuttled when Republicans attached amendments to a voting rights bill that would have limited the District's power to legislate on gun ownership. Gray and other city leaders balked and the bill fell through.
"Now, we're fighting to preserve what little Democracy we have left in Congress," Gray said from inside the Rayburn Office building, where he hoped to visit with Speaker-elect John Boehner.
Boehner, the Republican House leader from Ohio, has proposed that the House eliminate the District's vote in the Committee of the Whole when it votes on new operating rules on Wednesday. The committee is composed of every House member and is called together when the House considers amendments to tax and spending bills.
Norton first won the vote in 1992, but has only kept it when Democrats have been in power.