House Bill Passes With Help of Over 50 Dems

( – Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives were supported by 52 Democrats in passing a bill to repeal a Washington D.C. law allowing those without U.S. citizenship to vote in local elections.

Despite the opposition of 143 Democrats, the bill to repeal the law was passed with a 262-143 vote. This move could have significant implications, as the law had already withstood a court challenge in 2024, having been enacted by the progressive Washington D.C. city council in 2022. Republicans who opposed the D.C. law raised concerns about potential threats to national security if noncitizens were allowed to influence the capital’s affairs.

Republican representative Garret Graves of Louisiana argued that the bill would prohibit “spies from China” and “citizens of foreign countries” from voting in elections within the nation’s capital. He also noted that many of these individuals may have “wishes of ill will“ toward the United States.

The amount of backing from Democrats for the H.R. 192 bill was higher than that for a similar bill in 2023, highlighting the increasing willingness of some Democrats to address conservative and national concerns about the border crisis leading up to the November election. Progressives have already criticized President Joe Biden over an apparent shift towards the right in his immigration policies. However, the position is shared by some Democrats, such as Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, who, despite supporting legal immigration, has long called for stronger border control.

The bipartisan repeal of the District of Columbia’s law addressed concerns that even illegal immigrants could be allowed to cast votes in Washington D.C.’s local elections. Republicans leading the bill treated it as defending American citizenship against attempts by progressives to dilute its meaning and equate citizens with undocumented migrants and temporary visitors. Republican lawmakers argued that the law was also part of a broader attempt to empower those who should not be allowed to vote. Republican New Jersey Representative Jeff Van Drew called it an “un-American” attempt to gain power that needed to be stopped.

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