The U.S. Senate passed a bill Thursday that would give Washington, D.C., a voting seat in the House of Representatives, but lawmakers attached language strongly opposed by city leaders that strips most local gun-control laws. The gun amendment complicates the D.C. vote bill’s passage into law, because the legislation will have to be reconciled with a companion bill in the House with no gun provisions that is expected to be approved next week.
Some D.C. officials said it was ironic that the Senate bill granted the city full representation in the House while also overruling the District’s decisions on a key local issue. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the city’s nonvoting House delegate, said she was overjoyed at the passage of the voting-rights bill. She has fought an uphill battle for years for District residents to have a greater voice in Congress. Norton and D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) were tight-lipped about potential problems raised by the gun issue, apparently seeking to avoid antagonizing senators.