Thursday, January 6, 2011

House GOP Ends Floor Voting Rights For Delegates

House GOP Ends Floor Voting Rights For Delegates

WASHINGTON — One of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House is to take away the floor voting rights of six delegates representing areas such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

Five of those delegates are Democrats, while one, from the Northern Marianas Islands, is an independent.

The GOP decision to rescind the ability of delegates to vote on amendments on the House floor was the predictable outcome of a longtime party divide. Democrats extended the voting rights in 1993 when they controlled the House, Republicans disenfranchised the delegates when they became the majority in 1995 and Democrats restored delegate rights when they regained control of the House in 2007.

"This is a very undemocratic way to start the 112th Congress," said Virgin Islands Del. Donna Christensen. With the new GOP rule, she said, "there are over 4.5 million Americans who don't get input into shaping the final bill."

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