Urban League Decries Filibuster

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"District of Columbia residents pay taxes, serve on juries and fight and die in our nation's wars," Morial said.

[National News]



National Urban League President Marc H. Morial has expressed outrage over the U.S. Senate's failure to stop a filibuster of the proposed D.C. House Voting Rights Act (S.1257), which gives the District of Columbia one voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

By a slim three-vote margin, the Senate failed to overcome a filibuster by a minority of senators that kept the measure from proceeding to a vote on the floor, a major setback in a decades-long fight to secure congressional representation for the nation's capital.

This is the first filibuster of a voting rights bill since the era of segregation.

"District of Columbia residents pay taxes, serve on juries and fight and die in our nation's wars," Morial said. "Yet, despite this, they have had their hopes of gaining congressional representation stalled so close to the finish line. Residents of our nation's capital deserve their constitutional right to representation now, something that has been long enjoyed by all Americans residing outside D.C. Without a full voice in Congress, they are merely second-class citizens."

Crafted as a compromise, the legislation would add two seats in the U.S.House - one for D.C. and the other for Utah, the next state expected to get a new seat. It enjoyed support from both sides of the aisle and easily passed through the U.S. House last April.

"It is shameful that in this day and age, a small group of United States Senators would filibuster a voting rights bill," Morial said. "It is ironic and sad that DC residents, once again, had their rights denied by a body in which they are not represented."

"I urge the Senate to stop blocking Americans' right to vote and revisit this issue during this session of Congress. D.C. residents deserve voting rights now!"

National Urban League (www.nul.org) Established in 1910, The Urban League is the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.

Today, the National Urban League, headquartered in New York City, spearheads the non-partisan efforts of its local affiliates. There are over 100 local affiliates of the National Urban League located in 35 states and the District of Columbia providing direct services to more than 2 million people nationwide through programs, advocacy and research.

(MaximNews.com United Nations)

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