DC allowed to extend non-citizen voting rights after Democrat-led Senate misses oversight deadline

The District is allowed to make its own laws, but Congress has oversight authority that includes control of the city budget.

Published: March 20, 2023 12:10pm

Updated: March 20, 2023 12:49pm

Congress has allowed Washington, D.C., to let non-citizens vote in local elections, after having blocked the capital city’s revision of its criminal code that Democrats and Republicans alike considered too soft on crime. 

The Republican-led House, then the Democrat-controlled Senate blocked the crime bill earlier this month with widespread bipartisan support. 

A month earlier, the House passed a measure to block D.C.'s expanded voting law.

"The law makes no exception for foreign diplomats or agents who have interests that are the opposite of ours," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said at the time. "Under this bill, Russian diplomats would get a vote."

However, the Senate didn’t vote on the matter before the 30-review period expired late last week.

The District is allowed to make its own laws, but Congress has oversight authority that include control of the city budget. That budget authority has sparked some speculation that congressional Republicans will make another attempt at stopping the non-citizen voting by trying to limit or block the money the District needs to expand the voter roll.  

Advocates of the bill say that legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants often work and pay taxes in D.C. and are impacted by local policies, so they should have a say in who makes policies. 

"Despite House Republican attempts to interfere, the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act became law,” said D.C. Democrat Council member Brianne Nadeau, who wrote the bill, according to the blog site DCist

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News