Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Jan. 6 was once again denied the right to a floor vote in the House of Representatives by that chamber’s Republican majority.

However, Norton said she will not cease to fight for the right of equal representation for D.C. citizens.

“We intend to use every available opportunity to build toward the equal citizenship rights for D.C. that come with D.C. statehood,” Norton said in a press release.  “Today’s crude abuse of power must drive our determination for a vote that cannot be eliminated and for a status fully equal to our fellow citizens.”

Norton presented a motion opposing a GOP rules package for this 114th Congress which barred her and other non-voting Congressional from casting floor votes in certain situations.  The motion was denied in a vote of 230-160, split along party lines. Similar motions by Norton to allow delegates to vote failed early in the 112th and 113th Congresses as well.

While a Delegate’s right to vote on the House floor was declared constitutional in 1993 by a federal district court and again in 1994 by a federal appeals court, each congressional session is given the choice to accept or deny the motion. Delegates currently have voting privileges within small committees.

Norton has long been in favor of the delegate vote, winning the right to vote on the House floor in the Democrat-controlled 103rd, 110th and 111th Congresses.

According to Norton’s aide and a press release, Norton did not expect for the motion to pass, but made the motion to officially, and by a recorded vote, protest the elimination of voting rights for taxpayers residing in D.C. She also intended to alert the public of the second-class treatment of residents by the Republican majority.

Leading up to the vote, Norton was joined by new D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and the former director of the D.C. Department of Veterans Affairs, Kerwin Miller, in a press conference on Jan. 5 to emphasize the District’s right to vote. She also received support from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) prior to the vote.