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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Voting Rights Bill with NRA Gun Amendment Pulled from Consideration
WASHINGTON - April 20 - Today,
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the District of Columbia
Voting Rights Act would be pulled from consideration in the U.S. House
of Representatives because of the chamber’s inability to stop a National
Rifle Association (NRA) amendment that would have effectively gutted
the city’s gun laws. “The price was way too high,” said Hoyer, who
indicated he made the decision along with D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) applauds Majority Leader Hoyer and Delegate Norton for making this hard decision and for acknowledging that the bill was a threat to D.C. residents’ safety and democratic rights. It is a tragedy that a bill that would have extended voting representation in Congress to American citizens who richly deserve it was undermined by the NRA’s insidious agenda.
A recent decision by a federal judge upheld the District of Columbia’s new gun laws as constitutional and torpedoed the NRA’s claims that these regulations are arbitrary and tyrannical. Nonetheless, the NRA pressed ahead and put their petty, partisan agenda ahead of the civil rights of 600,000 patriotic Americans. Their goal was to drive a wedge between D.C. residents, but in the end we emerged unified and more determined than ever.
CSGV has been committed to obtaining full democracy for the District for 40 years. Our president, Mike Beard, was the first executive director of Self-Determination for D.C., a national coalition that was instrumental in passing the Home Rule Act in 1973. In recent years, we have been proud to advocate for voting representation and political autonomy for District residents.
We would like to thank the many individuals and organizations who stepped forward to protect the principle of self-determination in the District. Among them were the 13 members of the D.C. Council, ROOT (Reaching Out to Others Together), the League of Women Voters, DC for Democracy, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the D.C. Democratic Party, and—most importantly—family members who lost loved ones in the March 30 mass shooting in Southeast Washington.