The D.C. voting rights amendment moved one step closer to passage in the Maryland legislature today when the House Constitutional and Administrative Law Committee approved the measure and sent it to the House floor by a 19-to-2 vote.
The committee's approval of the amendment to give the District of Columbia full voting representation in Congress was so convincing that sponsors of the measure said it removed whatever fears they had that it might be rejected in a final House vote next week.
"I hope and believe that it's going to pass easily now," said Del. Charles Blumenthal (D-Prince George's), the House floor leader for the amendment. "Everyone is joining the side of right."
The fate of the amendment appears less certain in the Senate, where a vote on the measure was postponed today at the request of Senate President James Clark Jr. "We're still holding to our count that we have the votes," said Sen. Clarence Mitchell III (D-Baltimore). "Now all we have to do is hold onto that support until the final vote next Tuesday."
Gov. Harry R. Hughes all but took himself out of the debate over the amendment today by announcing that he would not say whether he supported or opposed the measure until next Thursday. By then, the issue will probably have been decided in both houses of the legislature.