Massachusetts Congressmen Voted To Give District of Columbia Illegal Immigrants Voting Rights This Year

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Did you know illegal immigrants will be legally allowed to vote in Washington D.C. municipal elections beginning next year?

It’s so, and all nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts voted for it.

On October 18, 2022, the Washington D.C. city council voted 12-0 to approve the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022. The bill will allow all noncitizen residents of Washington D.C. to vote in city elections, including illegal immigrants, beginning in 2024. The District of Columbia enacted the bill on November 21, 2022.

An attempt to block the District of Columbia failed earlier this month.

Congress can block D.C. laws from taking effect because it is a federal district, not a state. The Home Rule Act of 1973 gives Congress the right to review and veto legislation passed by the District of Columbia city council before it takes effect.

Once the bill becomes law, it goes to Congress for a 30-day review period. However, if Congress is not in session during the 30-day review period, the review period is extended to 60 legislative days — days that Congress is in session.

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives capitalized on this review period last month, passing a resolution called “Disapproving the Action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022.”

The resolution passed 260-162 on February 9; 42 Democrats joined 218 Republicans in supporting the measure.

However, all nine Democrats from Massachusetts were Nay votes on the resolution.  The nine U.S. representatives from Massachusetts are:  Richard Neal (D-Springfield), Jim McGovern (D-Worcester), Lori Trahan (D-Westford), Jake Auchincloss (D-Newton), Katherine Clark (D-Revere), Seth Moulton (D-Salem), Ayanna Pressley (D-Hyde Park), Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston), and Bill Keating (D-Bourne).

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge) and U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Malden) never had an opportunity to vote on the measure. The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate did not bring the resolution up. The 60-day window to do so expired on Tuesday, March 14, so Congress will not block the law, according to DCist.

To overturn the law, both chambers of Congress must pass a joint resolution, and the president must sign the resolution. However, if the president vetoes the joint resolution, Congress can override him with a two-thirds majority in each chamber. 


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