Schumer, Russell Feingold and eight other Senate Democrats are sponsoring legislation to give
Washington D.C. residents a voting representative in Congress. Currently they elect a delegate, who may debate but who may not vote in the House of Representatives. That delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, has endorsed the
Calling the bill the "No Taxation Without Representation Act of 2005," Lieberman said that the
election in Iraq highlight the universal desire to enjoy full democratic freedoms.
“It is almost incomprehensible that in this day and age that ours is the only democracy in the
world in which citizens of the capital city are not represented in the national legislature,”
Lieberman said in a Jan. 27 news release. “This injustice is felt directly by District residents but it also casts a shadow
over the democratic traditions of the entire nation. The right to vote is a civic entitlement of
every American citizen. It is democracy's most essential right. It is the ultimate guarantor of our
freedom and the enabler of our best hopes for the future.”
The approximately 600,000 citizens of Washington D.C. tend to be Democrats— a possible disincentive for Republican members of Congress.
“We’re right and what we’re doing is quintessentially American,” Lieberman said. Republicans “have
to see the injustice in this. We need to take this above anyone’s political prediction of which
party will win seats in the election… To paraphrase the late anthropologist Margaret Mead, never
underestimate the capacity of a small group of committed people to change the world.”
Besides by Lieberman of Connecticut, Feingold of Wisconsin and Schumer of New York, the legislation is being cosponsored by
Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Jon Corzine of New Jersey,
Richard Durbin and Barack Obama of Illinois, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and John Kerry of Massachusetts.