Hopes have evaporated for passing a bill giving the District of Columbia voting rights in the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.Attaching the amendment was a clever move by Republicans who knew it would mean the downfall of the bill, which would give the D.C. delegate a vote in Congress but also add a seat for Utah to retain the partisan balance.
The district's leaders can't reach consensus on what to do about an amendment that would gut D.C.'s gun laws, according to Hoyer (D-Md.), the bill's patron in leadership.
“There is not a consensus among leaders in D.C.,” Hoyer said. “I don't think we're going to be able to move the bill at this time.”
The bill has been stalled for months, but today represented Hoyer's most dismal assessment since the Senate passed the bill with the gun amendment attached. Previously, Hoyer had said he was confident the bill could pass this year.
The gun amendment is backed by the National Rifle Association and supported by conservative Democrats, particularly Blue Dogs from the South and the West. Together with Republicans, they form a strong majority in support of gun rights.
It's simply shameful that D.C. residents will continue to be denied representation because there's a bipartisan majority of gun nuts in Congress.