Monday, January 26, 2009

Two New Congressional Districts Back on the Table

When I posted last week's entry on DailyKos (here), it came up in the discussion that a bill had been introduced in the last Congress to give DC a voting representative. That bill would have also added an additional representative to be apportioned among the states, for a total of 437 voting representatives in congress. In a comment last week, KDuffy wrote
I looked it up and it failed in the senate by only 3 votes.
Well, it's baaack. It was reintroduced on January 6th as District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009. It's to be debated tomorrow in the Judiciary Committee (as mentioned by Kagro X in This Week in Congress). It would add 2 new congressional seats, giving 1 to DC.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the District of Columbia shall be considered a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives.
After the 2010 census, the additional seat would be apportioned along with all of the other seats. For the 111th (current) and 112th Congresses, whichever state (which would have to be Utah) gets the additional seat would elect that representative at large.
the additional Representative to which the State identified by the Clerk of the House of Representatives in the report submitted under paragraph (2) is entitled shall be elected from the State at large
And the result? If this bill passes, there is one more seat to go around, so looking at last week's post you can see that it becomes more likely that Washington State could get a 10th seat. There are still numerous possibilities. For example, North Carolina and Oregon could get new seats and California retain all of its seats, with Washington still barely losing out. So, for the next 2 years, don't tell your friends it rains all the time in Seattle. We want them to move here just in time for the census. Then they'll discover the rain and move back.