The beleaguered D.C. voting rights amendment, which was rejected by a single vote in Maryland on Tuesday, has taken it on the chin in Missouri and Washington state legislatures.
In Missouri yesterday, the amendment was withdrawn from consideration before the House of Representatives after its chief sponsor conceded that the proposal would probably be defeated if brought to a vote.
Rep. Fred Williams (D-St. Louis) said the amendment is "done for this year" after listening to two hours of debate during which the opposition mounted.
Williams said he withdrew the resolution so that he could maintain a commitment to U.S. Sen. Eagleton (D-Mo.) that the proposal would not be allowed to be defeated yesterday.
Backers of the nationwide ratification drive had telephoned Williams from the District of Columbia and urged him to go slow or block a vote if the outcome were in doubt.
In Washington state, the amendment failed to receive a majority vote in the House Constitution and Elections Committee.
That action may have sealed the fate of the amendment there for this year, because the legislature is scheduled to wind up its 60-day session today.
The committee vote was on strictly partisan lines, with Democrats voting in favor of ratificaation and Republicans against it. All committees in the House are equally divided between the two parties as is the entire chamber, which has 49 representatives from each party.
The one hope for the admendment in the Washington House is that the Democrats can find at least one Republican to join them in overriding the committee's action and getting the 50 votes required to force the resolution to a vote on the floor. Democratic Speaker John Bagnariol said he may try to do that.
The Washington Senate, controlled by the Democrats, voted in favor of the resolution last week 25 to 22.