DC Statehood Is Unacceptable

Immediately after President Obama was elected and the Democrats gained big majorities in both the House and the Senate, the first thing they tried to do was grab another seat in Congress by pushing through a bill to give the District of Columbia a vote in the House of Representatives (S.160).

Liberal Democrats want to give statehood to Washington, DC, and S. 160 would take a major step in that direction by giving them a vote in the House of Representatives.  Moreover, if DC becomes a state, there will be two more liberal votes in the Senate — a situation that would allow them to break any Republican filibuster that would stymie their anti-gun agenda.

The Senate passed S. 160 last year, and if it were not for Gun Owners of America and Senator John Ensign, it would have been signed into law last spring.

Pro-gun Senator John Ensign and Gun Owners of America worked together to attach an amendment to the DC bill (S. 160).  The amendment would repeal all the restrictive gun control laws still on the books in DC after the landmark D.C. v. Heller Supreme Court decision. The vote margin was an amazing 62-36 in the Senate!

Wiping out DC’s still very restrictive anti-gun laws was not what Speaker Pelosi and other rabid anti-Second Amendment members of the House wanted to see.

So far, the House has been unable or unwilling to take any action on the Senate measure.  While Speaker Pelosi has no desire to see a pro-gun provision within the DC bill, many House members are afraid to vote for any such bill that doesn’t contain the pro-gun Ensign amendment.  In short, this has been a real Mexican standoff that has lasted for nearly a year.

But now, the game has changed.  When the Democrats lost Senator Kennedy’s old seat to a Republican in last month’s election, they lost their 60 vote majority in the Senate.  And in the House, passage of the health care bill could come down to one or two votes, putting all of their plans at risk.

Suddenly, the opportunity to pass S. 160 and pick up an additional House seat is a lot more important to many Democrats, making them more willing to take the risk of angering gun owners.


But will they take that risk, knowing what it cost them the last time they challenged gun owners?

That’s the big question that has everybody wondering.  And, to be sure, we cannot afford to underestimate the depths of corruption in this Congress.  What’s abundantly clear is that having lost their supermajority in the Senate; they will try to get even more liberal Democrats elected so they can get their agenda rammed through Congress.

That’s why passing S. 160 (or its House equivalent, H.R. 157) is so important to them.  It would take Democrats to the first level, giving them another seat in the House.  Since socialized health care may hang on one vote in the House, this might very well give ObamaCrats the extra vote they need to push this through that chamber.

Then, once they get their extra House seat, liberal Democrats will argue it’s unfair for DC residents to just have a vote in the House but not in the Senate.  They’ll demand that they be granted the right to elect two more liberal, anti-gun Senators right away!

I am writing to you today, not only to alert you to this very volatile situation, but to enlist your aid to help me help your Representative make the right decision.

Right now, Speaker Pelosi is trying to figure out a way around this roadblock.  She is currently floating an offer that if the Senate agrees to accept a House version of the DC bill without the pro-gun Ensign amendment, she will guarantee a quick House vote on a separate, standalone version of a bill to repeal the DC gun ban.

But that’s a farce.  Does anyone really think she has gun owners’ views in mind?  Does anyone think that when the DC gun ban repeal passes the House, that anti-gun Majority Leader Harry Reid won’t try to bottle it up in the Senate?  Does anyone think that Pelosi and Reid truly want to send this to the President’s desk?

This is just a move to sidetrack gun owners and get more liberals elected to Congress.  And right now, there are back-room negotiations taking place on this bill.  The District’s non-voting delegate to the House has stated that movement is likely in the next few weeks, but she will not approve of the bill if the DC gun ban repeal is still part of it.

This is unacceptable to Gun Owners of America because we really don’t want to give the Democrats one more liberal seat in the House — nor, for that matter, a 60-plus vote supermajority in the Senate.  The way to prevent all this from happening is to nip it in the bud by killing S. 160.

We must not let this bill pass!  A separate vote on the DC bill without the pro-gun Ensign amendment is a non-starter, as far as we are concerned.  I hope you agree and will help Gun Owners fight to protect not just the gun rights of DC’s citizens, but each and every gun owner in the United States.

If you do agree, then I urge you to quickly contact your Representative and urge him to continue to oppose S. 160 and warns that passage of this bill without the Ensign Amendment shall be counted as an anti-gun vote by all of the major pro-gun organizations.

Supporters of S. 160 claim the bill is “fair” because it also gives the state of Utah — typically a Republican stronghold — an extra congressional seat.  However, the Utah seat (unlike the one in DC) is temporary, which means that after the next census, Utah could very well lose that seat to a liberal state like California, resulting in two additional anti-gun Democrats in the House of Representatives — one from DC, the other from California.

This is nothing but a vote-packing scheme by the liberals.  How’s that for fair?

There is a right way and a wrong way to do things.  And, lately, Congress has been behaving very badly.  By now, most Congressmen are aware that Americans are, in general, fed up and disgusted with their sleazy actions.

Finally, I hope you can afford to send Gun Owners a CONTRIBUTION so we can continue to be, not only your “eyes and ears,” but your strong voice on Capitol Hill and in state houses all across the country.

And please don’t think, for one minute, that a gift of a few dollars doesn’t matter.  It does and will be most gratefully received and put to work immediately.

Thank you again for your continued support of our work.


Larry Pratt

Executive Director