House passes bill to give Utah, District of Columbia new house seats
By Jim AbramsAssociated Press
WASHINGTON — The people of the District of Columbia moved a step closer Thursday to gaining voting rights denied to them for more than 200 years. But the legislation passed by the House on a 241-177 vote faced a veto threat from the White House, which said the bill was unconstitutional. The bill would increase full House membership from 435 to 437, giving the largely Democratic half-million residents of the district a seat and adding a temporary at-large seat for Republican-leaning Utah. The House has consisted of 435 seats since 1960. The bill now goes to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., echoing the position of the Bush administration, said it was unconstitutional and he would oppose it. "This legislation corrects a serious flaw in our democracy," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "We will not rest until full voting representation in the House is granted to the District of Columbia."
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