Today, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee voted 11 to 1 to give the District its first full voting seat in the House of Representatives. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) cast the lone “no” vote. Dave Weigel at the Washington Independent explains McCain’s opposition — and hypocrisy:
McCain was the only one of them who voted nay, and he gave two reasons. The first was that the proposed compromise that would give D.C. voting rights while giving Utah a fourth seat in Congress was unfair to other fast-growing states. The second was that McCain didn’t want to pass a bill that constitutional scholars are still tussling over “and then have the Supreme Court decide whether or not it’s constitutional.”
This is a problem. What would happen if — a totally random example here — a senator introduced a campaign finance law that, according to many constitutional scholars and the president of the United States, violated the First Amendment? What if the Supreme Court had to decide whether or not the law was constitutional? That would be crazy.
It’s unclear when the bill will go to the Senate for a full vote; a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said they “will try and get it to the floor as quickly as we can.”