Norton Gets Promises of "Holds" and Other Tactics to Stop Anti-Home Rule Gun Bill Passed Today
September 17, 2008
Washington, D.C. - The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) released her statement in response to the passage of a substitute to her bill, H.R. 6842, The National Capital Security and Safety Act of 2008, by a House vote of 260-160. The discrepancy between the final passage vote 260-160 (and one voting present) and the vote on the substitute (266-152) largely reflects the fact that the delegates cannot vote on final passage and confusion among some Democrats accustomed to voting "no" on amendments and "yes" on final passage. Norton insisted on the vote in the Committee of the Whole, where she has a vote, before the final passage vote, where she does not.
"I am grateful to the 160 members who voted for home rule and gun safety rather than for the NRA and its organizational priorities. The fight in the House drew out many of our allies and many who were willing to stay past midnight this morning to help make the case. The needless consideration of this issue, when the District was well on its way to substantially altering its gun own legislation, was all the more egregious because the city's representative could not vote on final passage. It has been clear all along that the substitute would gut our bill, courtesy of NRA threats and campaign contributions. Everyone knew full well that the votes were in well before they were counted. The vote on the substitute was about what we expected. Therefore, for weeks now, I have been in touch with senators I knew would be helpful. As a result, I am very pleased that this bill will have multiple holds on it as it hits the Senate, and many other efforts are underway by our Senate friends to assure that the bill dies. I am pleased to have spoken with Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) by phone to say that the very least that I believe the District is entitled to is referral of the House bill to committee as with all bills in the Senate. Although I was confident we could kill the bill in the Senate, it would have been a grave mistake for the District to fail to pull out all stops in the House. My experience in the House has been that fighting hard against transgressions against the District has real effects on the nature of the struggles we have to make in the future."