Congressional Republicans on Thursday put forward legislation that would block a Washington, D.C., law that extends the franchise to noncitizens and illegal immigrants.
The D.C. City Council voted 12-1 in November to advance a bill that would allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. The bill says that if noncitizens are otherwise qualified to vote, they can do so in local elections as long as they have resided in D.C. for at least 30 days. Were the bill to become law, tens of thousands of noncitizen residents in the district would gain the right to vote.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-K.Y., introduced a resolution to disprove of the legislation. If it passes the House and Senate and is signed by President Biden, it would prevent the D.C. bill from becoming law.
“Voting is a pillar of American democracy and a constitutional right that undeniably needs to be protected and preserved for citizens of this country,” Comer said in a statement.
“The D.C. Council’s reckless decision to allow non-U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants the right to vote in local elections is an attack on the foundation of this republic,” he added. “This move by the Council is irresponsible and will only exacerbate the ongoing border crisis, subvert the voices of American citizens, and open the door for foreign adversaries to peddle influence in our nation’s capital. It should go without saying: only Americans should have the power to influence local policy and guide their hard-earned taxpayer dollars to important initiatives.”
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton will introduce the same joint resolution in the Senate.
“Allowing illegal immigrants to vote is an insult to every voter in America. Every single Democrat should be on the record about whether they support this insane policy,” Cotton said in a statement.
Previously, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a bill that would prohibit D.C. from using any federal funds to carry out the decision to let non-citizens vote.
“Voting is a distinct right and privilege that American citizens enjoy in the United States. It is a responsibility, not to be treated lightly, and it must be protected,” Cruz told Fox News Digital in November.
“Voters decide not only who will lead our country, our cities and communities, but also how our tax dollars should be spent and what policies we should adopt,” Cruz continued. “Even the Washington Post agrees that non-citizen voting is a terrible idea. Allowing non-citizens and illegal immigrants to vote in our elections opens our country up to foreign influence, and allows those who are openly violating U.S. law or even working for hostile foreign governments to take advantage and direct our resources against our will.”
Under the D.C. Home Rule Act, members of Congress are able to block bills passed by the legislature and cleared by the mayor. Once the bill is submitted, it can be voted down if the House and Senate pass Comer’s resolution of disapproval within 30 days, or else the law will take effect.
Fox News’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.