A Good Start
There's been renewed talk lately of something that's been a perennial topic of discussion on the 13th Floor for years: a vote in Congress for ...
As you probably know, the residents of the District of Columbia --despite paying federal taxes -- don't have a vote in the House or Senate. (Isn't there a phrase for that?)
But a plan to give D.C. a voting member in the House is receiving new attention. The deal would add two seats to the House, balancing what would be D.C.'s solidly Democratic vote with a solidly Republican new district in Utah. (Utah just barely missed qualifying for a new seat following the 2000 Census).
In a post-election press conference a couple weeks ago, President Bush said he would consider the plan, the first time he's acknowledged it. And Utah's moving ahead, with lawmakers a couple weeks ago appointing a committee to draft a plan for adding a district to the state.
This, of course, is all terribly exciting. As a resident of the District, being taxed without representation is a pretty tough pill to swallow.
So for all the momentum this idea seems to be gaining, I say "huzzah." And to all the people working to make this a reality, I say "thank you."
But I also say this: "Now what?" Getting representation in the House is fantastic and everything -- don't get me wrong. But everybody talks about this plan like it's the solution to D.C.'s representation problem.
It's not. It's a good start, but what about the Senate? You know, the other arm of Congress? The one that confirms presidential nominees?
I love all this talk about a D.C. congressional representative. But I'd like to hear some talk about a couple of D.C. senators, too.