Republicans Introduce Resolution to Stop Non-Citizens From Voting in DC Local Elections

Top Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate have introduced a joint resolution to prevent a law that allows non-citizens the right to vote in the District of Columbia’s local elections, from going into effect.

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee James Comer (R-Ky.) introduced H. J. Res. 17 to challenge the D.C. Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act and prevent its implementation.

“Voting is a pillar of American democracy and a constitutional right that undeniably needs to be protected and preserved for citizens of this country,” Comer said in a Jan. 12 press statement. “The D.C. Council’s reckless decision to allow non-U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants the right to vote in local elections is an attack on the foundation of this republic.”

The Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act, passed by the D.C. Council in late 2021, gives non-citizens who live and work in the district the right to vote for the mayor, city council member, attorney general, school board member, and commissioner. The law was slated to be reviewed by Congress and go into effect in March.

The D.C. law in question does not allow non-citizens to vote in federal elections.

According to the city council, the district’s immigration went from 4 percent to 15 percent at the time of the bill’s passage. In addition, 11 Maryland municipalities also let non-citizens vote. That list includes Barnesville, Cheverly, Chevy Chase Section 3, Garrett Park, Glen Echo, Hyattsville, Martin’s Additions, Mount Rainier, Riverdale Park, Somerset, and Takoma Park.

Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called the D.C. law an insult.

“Allowing illegal immigrants to vote is an insult to every voter in America. Every single Democrat should be on the record about whether they support this insane policy,” said Cotton in a press statement.

A D.C. councilmember who introduced the D.C. bill, Brianne Nadeau, fired back at Comer and Cotton for trying to interfere with D.C. lawmaking.

“Sen. Cotton, if you want to change the laws of the District of Columbia, you should move here, vote here, and run for a seat on the DC Council. But actually, please do not. Thank you @EleanorNorton for protecting the District’s right to govern itself,” Nadeau said in a Jan 13 Twitter post responding to Cotton’s statement and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who also criticized the Republicans’ effort.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 21, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Norton said she will work to defeat Comer and Cotton’s resolution.

“While I do not expect the resolution to pass in the Senate or the president to sign it, I will work to defeat the resolution, along with the resolution Senator Cotton announced he will introduce, starting now,” Norton said in Jan. 13 statement.

“I’m sure Sen. Cotton & Rep. Comer don’t think Congress should be able to make and override the laws of Arkansas & Kentucky. But they think they should be able to dictate the laws for 700,000 law-abiding residents of the District and deny us the right to govern ourselves,” Nadeau wrote on Twitter on Jan. 12.

Both Nadeau and Norton see this effort from Republicans as yet another reason to give the District of Columbia statehood.

Masooma Haq

Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics including U.S. government, culture, and entertainment.

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