D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote a letter Tuesday to House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy asking to retain her vote in the Committee of the Whole on the House floor.
House rules for the 117th Congress, led by the Democrats, permitted Norton, as the legislator for D.C., to vote in a procedure known as the Committee of the Whole on the floor. Normally, delegates aren’t allowed to vote on the House floor because they don’t represent states.
However, in the Committee of the Whole, in which all voting lawmakers are members, Norton, as the D.C. representative, can vote on bills under those rules, but can’t participate in a final recorded vote because D.C. isn’t a state.
“The delegate vote has no adverse impact on the operations of the House or on the majority, but its importance to the nearly 700,000 D.C. residents cannot be overstated,” Norton wrote in the letter to McCarthy. “D.C. residents, who have fought in every American war, beginning with the Revolutionary War, have always had the obligations of American citizenship, including paying full federal taxes and serving on federal juries. … I ask that the House grant D.C. residents the modicum of respect the vote in the Committee of the Whole would afford.”
Norton first won the vote for D.C. on the House floor in the Committee of the Whole in the 103rd Congress when the Democrats controlled the chamber. Democrats have continued to allow her to vote in the Committee of the Whole when they are in power.
However, Republicans have repeatedly denied her the floor vote on account of the District not being a state.