Hatch vows filibuster of D.C. voting rights bill

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Thursday he would filibuster a bill to give the District of Columbia a voting member of Congress if it reaches the Senate.

Hatch announced his opposition to the legislation, which is headed to the House floor by next Thursday, because it would add a new congressional seat in Utah that would be elected statewide, instead of in a new congressional district.

"Utah deserves an additional seat in the House, but like every other state it should have the freedom to elect its House members from regular districts," Hatch said in a statement. "The federal government has no business dictating to any state which approach they must use.”

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said Wednesday evening that House leaders would bring the bill to the floor next week, despite its having an amendment attached to expand gunowners' rights in the District.

Norton said that it was her sense that now was the best opportunity to advance District voting rights.

Hatch's opposition could prove a stumbling block unless Norton's legislation is modified.

Hatch said he's willing to filibuster a bill if and when it comes to the Senate, meaning that 60 senators would be necessary to move forward with the bill.