Posted by Charles S on March 21st, 2007

Founded on July 16, 1790 as a Federal District, Washington D.C. was formed for the sole purpose of becoming our Nation’s Capital. Previously Congress met in Philadelphia, however our founding father’s, untrusting of Pennsylvania’s Government to control potential urban mobs decided to create a new capital apart from any state. In 1787 the framers of the Constitution provided for a capital district of up to 100 square miles in which Congress would “exercise exclusive legislation.” The location for our new capital was chosen by George Washington himself. 

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States – Article I Section 8

Over 200 years later, our current Democratically controlled Congress is now attempting to pass into law a bill which would undermine our founding father’s vision for our nations capital. The bill, H.R. 328, The District of Columbia Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act of 2007 has a stated purpose “To provide for the treatment of the District of Columbia as a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives”.

Residents of Washington D.C. have for years used the slogan “no taxation without representation”, stating their lack of voting rights in both the House and the Senate is unfair. Mac Johnson over at Human Events has an excellent reply to this statement:

The District of Columbia was created specifically so that the federal government could sit on a tiny patch of neutral territory — a territory without a delegation in Congress that might attempt to use its special position as the seat of the government to win an unfair advantage in Congress. During the drafting of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers had to face the issue of where to locate the capital of the newly formed United States. It was obvious to all that whatever city became the capital would enjoy a huge new influence over the politics of the nation and could use that influence to enrich itself with the dutiful help of its home state’s representatives in Congress. Because of this danger, and after a few nasty incidents of locals trying to bully the Congress in its temporary home in Philadelphia, it was decided that no state should hold the capital of all the United States.

Mr Johnson goes on to point out that back in 1960, when Congress decided to allow residents of Washington D.C. to vote in federal elections, they granted this power by way of the 23rd Amendment.

I am not attempting to argue for or against citizens of Washington D.C. having representatives in the House at this time. If however, the Democratically controlled Congress wishes them to have those representatives, I expect our elected leaders to do so in such a manner as to not circumvent our Constitution.

My message to Congress; Propose an Amendment to the Constitution, and let States decide as they should!

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