McConnell Admits GOP Willing to Deny Americans Their Rights to Avoid ‘Two New Democratic Senators’

McConnell Admits GOP Willing to Deny Americans Their Rights to Avoid ‘Two New Democratic Senators’


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Donald Trump has found himself in the midst of a political firestorm this week for revealing that he would consider taking political dirt against his opponents from a foreign source.

Less publicized perhaps, however, is the fact that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally–after decades of lies of obfuscation and downright falsehoods–told the truth why Republicans are happy to deny basic American rights to the 630,000-plus residents of the District of Columbia.

DC residents are the only Americans who are required to pay federal taxes but–because DC is not a state–have no voting representation in Congress.

They have elected Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, but while she can make all the speeches that she wants, she has no vote.

It seems to me that we fought our first war a couple centuries back against that very tyranny. We called it “taxation without representation.”

DC residents, city officials and their allies have been laboring to rectify the situation for well more than 30 now. They’ve tried to have DC statehood recognized for nearly that long.

Opponents, largely Republicans, have stymied these efforts at every turn. And–up to now–they’ve done so with technical, lawyerly and supposedly high-minded arguments.

The worst was that offered a number of years ago by then-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex) when she said, essentially, “DC doesn’t need its own senators, you have all 100 of us here to look out for you.”

I’ve never heard anything so condescending, patriarchal–and disingenuous.

If there ever was a conflict with the priorities of District residents and the folks back home, who did you think Hutchison sided with? Yeah, of course, better believe it was the Texans who could actually vote for her.

DC became so vexed that city officials chose to add “Taxation Without Representation” to DC-issued license plates.

But now on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News, McConnell finally got honest with what we all knew is real reason Republicans are pleased to impose taxation without representation on their fellow Americans. It’s simply that DC residents vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.

“They plan to make the District of Columbia a state. That would give them two new Democratic senators,” he said.

McConnell is just as wrong to hold his view as Trump is to hold his on getting political dirt from foreign powers.

The only correct, patriotic and intellectually honest answer is to provide DC with the full representation that all taxpaying Americans enjoy and have come to expect. If Republicans don’t want Democrats to hold those congressional and Senate seats, then fight for DC’s voters.

And just as conservatives should be just as outraged by Trump’s comments as anyone, all Americans should be just as bothered and outraged as are citizens of DC.

This is an issue which should matter to all Americans, not only those who reside within the District of Columbia.

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  • comment-avatar
    Bill Spencer June 15, 2019

    This issue DOESN’T matter to all Americans outside the District, but I can certainly sympathise with those District residents who want better representation.
    But I am from California. With 15% of Americans, and still only 2 senators. No freakin’ way we think it is fair that the tiny little District gets 2 senators. We’re already upset at Rhode Island and Wyoming.

    SO – lets get the District some representation.
    We already returned the southern half of the District to Virginia. Let’s just return the northern half to Maryland, from whence it once came.

    And, to do it Constitutionally, all we have to do is shrink the District boundary to simply the Supreme Court through the Lincoln Memorial. Include the Capital, and the White House through the Jefferson Memorial.

    The new, smaller District has no resident except the President and family, and they have another home from which to vote. Maryland will get bigger and deserve more representatives, and we are about to redistribute ANYWAY. Eleanor Holmes Norton can finally be elected – as a representative of a southern district of Maryland.

    Taxation WITH representation.

    • comment-avatar
      W. Lewis July 5, 2019


    • comment-avatar
      roger strikland July 10, 2019

      Exactly. But that would only solve the problem of lack of representation, it wouldn’t yield two additional Democratic Senators, which is the point of the movement for DC to have Senators.

  • comment-avatar

    People vote as a community, a person with homes in NY an CA can decide with which community to vote.

    Let DC vote, like life-long expats, a few in each district across the country.

    Second and third generation expats may only vote in the district of their last US resident ancestor. But they file FATCA forms and many pay taxes other than earned income, such as real estate “profit”.

  • comment-avatar

    Betty’s idea sounds like a poll tax, which is illegal. Besides, there are quite a few DC residents whose families have been there a long time.

  • comment-avatar

    The quote is unfairly taken out of context to attack the GOP. McConnell states the motivation of the left in pushing this – nothing more. It isn’t to better represent those living there; it is to get more votes for the left. He does not state his position, or that of the GOP, as to why they oppose it. Partisan leftist reporting but at least the reporter acknowledges the bias.

  • comment-avatar
    James Swan July 7, 2019

    All American expats are subject to US taxes, but we have no dedicated representation in Congress. The US the only major country that taxes expats, even including children born abroad who have never resided in the US. Wea re liable for taxes not only on US-source income but also on foreign-source income, including retirement pensions,a nd we have to separately report all our foreign bank accounts to the Treasury Department, as a protection against international money-laundering.

  • comment-avatar
    Elizabeth July 10, 2019

    If we’re opening that can of worms, can we also promote Guam to full citizenship status or cut them loose? We have some borderline racist laws on the books that discriminate heavily against them.

  • comment-avatar

    *Every* state has two senators. It’s not just California v. DC, it’s you v. the Constitution. Give DC residents the same status as the rest of the country and they would get the same number of senate seats as the rest of us.