Last week, congressional Republicans voted in favor of a resolution to overturn two local Washington, D.C., bills from October, including one that allows non-citizens to vote in local elections, and another that undoes the city’s rewrite of its criminal code.
Speaking on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after the vote, Rep. Thomas Massie offered his explanation for why he voted for the former resolution. Allowing non-citizens to vote “is an attack” on democracy, he argued.
(Video: Fox News)
“It is an attack [on democracy], and after years of bleating about Russian interference, the Democrats have now voted to let Russian Nationals and Chinese Communists vote in our elections,” he said somewhat facetiously.
“So there are at least right now about 50,000 foreign nationals in Washington, DC. and … some of them have a visa, but about half of them don’t have a visa. They came here illegally,” he added.
“And I asked the [House Oversight Committee] ranking member, Jamie Raskin, since D.C. allows people who are in jail in prison to vote, does this mean that an illegal alien who is in prison can vote in Washington D.C. And he wouldn’t say that they couldn’t,” he concluded.
The vote was allowed thanks to the Home Rule Act of 1973, which permits D.C. residents to elect their own mayor and council but grants Congress the final say over the bills passed by said local leaders.
Amazingly, 41 Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans against the non-citizen voting bill. Thirty-one likewise crossed the aisle to reject the city’s new criminal code. That’s the good news.
The House, along with 41 Democrats, supported my resolution today preventing the D.C. Council from implementing irresponsible legislation that allows illegal immigrants & noncitizens the right to vote in the nation’s capital.
This terrible law must not take effect. pic.twitter.com/pZk7MR461D
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) February 9, 2023
The resolution to overturn the voting bill was introduced by House Oversight Committee chair James Comer last month.
“Voting is a pillar of American democracy and a constitutional right that undeniably needs to be protected and preserved for citizens of this country. The D.C. Council’s reckless decision to allow non-U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants the right to vote in local elections is an attack on the foundation of this republic,” he said in a statement at the time.
“This move by the Council is irresponsible and will only exacerbate the ongoing border crisis, subvert the voices of American citizens, and open the door for foreign adversaries to peddle influence in our nation’s capital. It should go without saying: only Americans should have the power to influence local policy and guide their hard-earned taxpayer dollars to important initiatives. All Members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, should strongly oppose this radical effort by the D.C. Council and support this Joint Resolution,” he added.
NEW@RepJamesComer introduces a joint resolution to disapprove and challenge radical DC Democrats’ law that allows non-U.S. citizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in the nation’s capital.
Voting must be preserved for American citizens.https://t.co/NfY9VK5SxA
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) January 12, 2023
The resolutions have zero chance of making it through the Senate and being signed into law by President Joe Biden, as his administration has voiced its opposition to both.
“For far too long, the more than 700,000 residents of Washington, D.C. have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress. This taxation without representation and denial of self-governance is an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded,” the president’s office said in a statement last week.
“H.J. Res. 24 and H.J. Res. 26 are both clear examples of how the District of Columbia continues to be denied true self-governance and why it deserves statehood. While we work towards making Washington, D.C. the 51st state of our Union, Congress should respect the District of Columbia’s autonomy to govern its own local affairs.”
Despite this, local Democrats still reacted with anger to Republicans trying to overturn their bills.
Speaking on the House floor last week, local legislator Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the author of the non-citizen voting bill, called the resolutions “profoundly undemocratic, paternalistic.”
She also noted that the D.C. laws created by the people whom local residents voted for is being targeted by national-level politicians whom local residents didn’t elect. This was based on the fact that D.C. voters have no sway in national elections.
“D.C. residents, a majority of whom are Black and brown, are worthy and capable of governing themselves. Keep your hands off D.C.,” Norton added.
I spoke on the House floor opposing the disapproval res. that could overturn the local DC legislation allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.
Congressional interference w/ local DC laws passed by DC’s own elected officials is never justified.https://t.co/bkJ9u991dZ pic.twitter.com/Hc0IIxDg9Q
— Eleanor #DCStatehood Holmes Norton (@EleanorNorton) February 10, 2023
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