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The Pressure is on the House

The news media has picked up the story that Pelosi had to pull her bill.  We might, from the articles, get an idea of what might happen in The House.  First, from the New York Times:

Chris Cox, the executive director of the N.R.A.’s legislative unit, wouldn’t confirm today that his organization threatened to monitor the vote in the House, or “score” it, as one of the gauges it uses to grade lawmakers’ adherence to the group’s agenda. “What I will say is that we would hold our right to take a position on a procedural motion that has a possibility of positively or adversely affecting the 2nd amendment,” Mr. Cox said. He termed “restoring Second Amendment rights” to district residents a “core issue’’ for his organization.

Next from the Washington Times:

House Democratic leaders have said the National Rifle Association is a major influence on some pro-gun Democrats on the Rules Committee, who may have agreed to attach the gun amendments to the bill.

“Leadership thought there was understanding with the NRA to keep the bill clean,” Mr. Connolly said. “Obviously there was a misunderstanding.”

From the Washington Post:

In an afternoon conference call with city officials, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said he did not have enough votes to bring the bill to the floor without the possibility of amendments, according to sources with knowledge of the discussion.

“We weren’t confident the votes would be there,” said a senior House aide who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Hoyer put the bill on hold Tuesday after learning that the National Rifle Association was urging its members to use a procedural maneuver to press for amendments that would repeal many of the city’s gun laws.

Based on Chris Cox’s statements in the three articles, the NRA is playing its cards close to its chest, and so is the House leadership.  Pelosi and Hoyer pretty clearly don’t want to send Obama a bill with gun rights language in it — a bill Obama will likely have to sign.  There will be a lot of back room dealing over this bill, as both sides try to influence lawmakers.

This would be a good time to contact your Representatives and make sure they know how you expect them to vote on restoring the Second Amendment to the District of Columbia.  It’s a big help to NRA’s lobbyists if they are meeting with a representative who’s also gotten dozens of phone calls and e-mails about the issue, rather than heard nothing from constituents.

3 Responses to “The Pressure is on the House”

  1. Dave R. says:

    I’m still torn on this. Giving DC a House vote is facially unconstitutional. If DC’s residents really want Congressional representation, the constitutional way to get that is for Congress to cede back the bulk of DC’s land and population to Maryland, as was already done once with Delaware. I know a gun-rights amendment is good tactics on the NRA’s issue, and there’s even a chance it can stall the underlying bill, but if it doesn’t it amounts to collusion in violating the constitution.

  2. Sebastian says:

    You mean Virginia? Alexandria used to be part of DC, but was ceded back to Virginia because the federal government neglected it. The problem is, which parts do you cede back to Maryland? Does Maryland even want it? The way to get DC representation is to pass a constitutional amendment allowing them a representative.

  3. Dave R. says:

    Yes, sorry, Virginia. A drawback to being publically schooled on the west coast is all those little founding states tend to run together.

    The problems you mention are real but purely political, don’t answer the constitutional objections, and are not necessarily insurmountable. Cede back major residential areas at least, and possibly everything except Capitol hill and the land underneath major federal buildings and monuments. And again, this is both constitutional and precedented.

    A constitutional amendment is one legitimate way to get them representation, but the lack of DC representation was deliberate and had a reasonable, stated end, which was to prevent the capitol of the union from using political pressure for its own benefit against the states. Perhaps that’s the least of our problems now given the size of the NEA, public sector unions and net welfare recipients, but its something that deserves to be mentioned.

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