Friday, March 16, 2007

Utah 4th: GOP edition

The White House, known for their dubious constitutional arguments (see John Woo's "unitary executive" memo vs. Justice O'Connor's Hamdan...the 4th circuit's rulings on so-called 'enemy combatants'), is opposing the DC-Utah house seat bill because Bush believes it is unconstitutional.
The news was not well received on the Hill.
"They'll officially base it on the same half-baked and disingenuous constitutional concerns some other opponents have raised," said a senior Republican congressional staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Why is it disingenuous? Because they wouldn't support a constitutional amendment, either. It's just cover for blatant partisanship. Shocker - another opportunity missed by the administration."

Meanwhile, Sen. Hatch a Senate 'supporter' of the bill isn't exactly busting his hump to get Utah more representation "I haven't done a head count. I don't even know if it's going to be brought up." Orin said. There were more Republican shenanigans to thwart the voting rights of DC residents that failed:
Republicans made numerous attempts to amend the bill, although all failed, including one by Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah.
Cannon wanted to change the at-large portion of the bill, giving the state of Utah the option to use a new four-district map approved at the end of last year and whatever else it would decide to do.
An amendment offered by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., would have required the state to use a map approved last year instead of the at-large seat but it also failed. Sensenbrenner was chairman of the committee last year and put the bill on hold until the map was drawn. Congress adjourned before it could pass the bill.
Other failed amendments would have kept the changes from taking effect until the 112th or 113th session, pushing it years beyond the current 110th session, while others would have made a congressional district out of every military base.

While the bill is expected to pass the House, the group DC Vote notes that it doesn't have 60 votes yet in the Senate, which is filled with White House toadies who might be inclined to filibuster for King President George W. Bush.

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