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Feb 26,2009
Senate passes D.C. House seat bill
by UPI

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate passed a bill Thursday that would give the District of Columbia a full voting seat in the House of Representatives.

The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) said the House is expected to approve the measure next week and President Barack Obama has said he would sign it.

But Republicans say they will challenge the constitutionality of the bill in court. The Constitution says House seats are supposed to be voted on by the "people of the several states."

Conservative senators also attached an amendment to the bill which would throw out most of the District's gun control laws, which might make the Senate version hard to reconcile with the House, the Post said.

The vote was 61-37.

The bill would expand the House by two seats -- one for the District, which is heavily Democratic, and one for Utah, which tends to vote Republican, for two years. After two years, the voting House seat would go to whichever state qualified in census results.

At present, the District is represented by a non-voting delegate in the House.

Previous attempts to give the District a voting seat have died in the House or Senate.

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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