A sad round-up. It’s not been a great few days…

Remember a few weeks ago when everyone was all excited that the bill on DC voting rights was going to pass? The Senate had passed it, added some stupid amendment that negated nearly all of DC’s gun control laws, and punted it off to the House. The House was expected to pass it, and perhaps get rid of the gun control amendment.

Then, the NRA came along (boo, hiss). They threatened to turn the House’s vote on the bill into a “test vote” – where the NRA keeps track of how each representative votes and grades them on how friendly they are to pro-gun legislation. That freaked out the House, and now the vote has been delayed, I’m sad to say, perhaps indefinitely.

This is ridiculous, lobbying groups should not have this much power over whether Congress even VOTES on a bill, not to say how they vote. Look, you might guess I’m not the hugest fan of the NRA and am a pretty big proponent of gun control, but that’s not even the point.

The point is, DC doesn’t have home rule, Congress controls them. However, DC doesn’t have a voting voice in Congress either, so we pretty much have no say over our own governance. This is what has allowed the Senate to add that gun control amendment to the bill with no say from representatives from DC. THIS IS WHAT THE BILL IS TRYING TO FIX. And it has led to the bill’s demise. The politics behind this are really unbelievable, and quite disheartening. OK, rant over.

This is very VERY good news. The bill passed with a 61-37 vote. It is believed that once it goes to the House, it will have ample support to pass. One step closer to representation for DC residents!!!

However, the bill passed with a controversial gun-control amendment negating nearly all gun-control laws currently in DC. However, the House’s bill will not include that amendment and if the House’s version passes, the two chambers will have to discuss what to do with it. I hope it gets stricken from the bill.

DCist is liveblogging the Senate’s hearing on the DC voting rights bill right now. For those of us at work who can’t really follow on C-SPAN, this is helpful. I’ll be watching with baited breath, it’s such a travesty that DC residents have been denied their rights as US citizens for so long, and I do hope that the Senate will move to give Eleanor Holmes Norton the ability to vote in the House of Representatives. Sure, I’d like full representation, but it’s something.

The Senate will vote whether to discuss the bill around 11 am, and then may move to vote on the bill at 5 pm. I’m hoping for good news for DC residents.

Courtesy of dctourism (Flickr)

Courtesy of dctourism (Flickr)

DCist has the info on the “state” quarter image for DC.

Thank GOD it’s going to be Duke Ellington. He really represents what is great about this city, and I love that he grew up about 3 blocks away from me. He helped to make my neighborhood Black Broadway, and the jazz mecca it is today (don’t you love that even Sala Thai has a night with live jazz?). The other options were Benjamin Banneker (an astronomer, mathematician, and clockmaker) and Fredrick Douglass (a worthy choice, though he didn’t spend most of his life in DC, but rather my hometown of Boston).

Of course, I would have preferred an image that had “Taxation without Representation” but that’s a whole other post.

The quarters are set to be in circulation by January 26.