Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) fell short in her protest vote against a House GOP rules package that keeps her and other nonvoting delegates from casting floor votes in certain circumstances.

The District of Columbia’s delegate staged the procedural vote to block consideration of the House GOP rules package as the first legislative vote of the new Congress. Members voted it down along party lines by a vote of 230-160 without any extensive debate.

{mosads}Norton’s proposal would have blocked consideration of the rules package until a five-member special committee appointed by the Speaker studies the issue of allowing delegates to vote on the House floor. 

Norton argued that her constituents were denied a voice on par with other Americans in the new Congress.

“The audacity of stripping a vote for taxpaying Americans won fairly by vote of the House and approved by the federal courts was outdone today by the refusal of the House majority to restore the vote of District citizens. Today’s crude abuse of power must drive our determination for a vote that cannot be eliminated and for a status fully equal to our fellow citizens,” Norton said in a statement after the vote.

Norton campaigned for weeks for Republican leaders to include a provision in the rules package to allow delegates to vote on the floor when the House is in a state known as the Committee of the Whole. She waged a similar protest before the previous Congress.

Norton and the other five nonvoting members of the House who represent Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands can vote in committees but not on the floor.

But under past House Democratic majorities, the delegates have been able to cast floor votes on certain amendments. However, their votes would not be counted in the event of a tie.

House Republicans revoked the voting privilege for delegates upon taking the majority in 2011.

The House will vote on the rules package later Tuesday.

— This report was updated at 3:51 p.m.

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