The National Council of Jewish Women is celebrating Senate passage of legislation giving Washington, D.C. a voting member of the House of Representatives, but criticizing its inclusion on an amendment that restricts the District’s ability to regulate guns and repeals other gun-control measures currently in the books. The organization notes that the legislation," which addresses a purely local issue, is an example of why DC needs a vote in Congress." Here’s the full statement:
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today applauded Senate passage of the DC Voting Rights Act but denounced an amendment that would severely limit the District’s ability to control guns within its borders. NCJW President Nancy Ratzan issued the following statement:
“Today’s action in the Senate marks a giant step toward righting an historic wrong by giving the District of Columbia a voting seat in the House of Representatives. Final passage by the House next week will send this bill to a receptive White House and put an end to an egregious denial of the basic rights of citizenship.
“However, the unfortunate passage by the Senate of a dangerous gun amendment will repeal the DC semiautomatic gun ban, remove common-sense gun-registration requirements, and hamstring the District’s authority to restrict firearms. It has no place in the legislation.
“Indeed, this amendment, which addresses a purely local issue, is an example of why DC needs a vote in Congress. The District government has already enacted a gun control statute in conformity with the Supreme Court’s decision last year invalidating an old law. This amendment is less about District residents than it is about the larger issue of gun control. We urge the House to push for elimination of this provision and insist that a clean bill be sent to the president for his signature.
“For more than 200 years, residents of the District have paid their taxes and marched off to war without a representative in Congress to vote on their behalf. The District is the only capital city in a democratic nation whose residents cannot participate in making the laws they must obey.
“This continued injustice has deprived more than 600,000 people of the rights of citizenship that most Americans take for granted. It has undermined our nation’s moral authority on questions of democracy around the globe. NCJW has worked hard to ensure that District residents obtain their right to vote, and we hope that it will come to pass without new restrictions on the city’s ability to govern itself.”