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The District of Columbia and its Lack of Representation in Congress: What difference does it make? Open Access Deposited

Representation underpins the American democracy. Yet, residents of the nation’s capital lack full representation before Congress. So what? Does it matter? Do the laws passed by Congress differ substantively and substantially because the District of Columbia lacks full representation? Has the lack of full voice in Congress rendered the District and its citizens worse off? This report addresses the substantive policy implications of the District’s underrepresentation in Congress. It examines the implications from a variety of angles including the distribution of power within Congress, the ability of the District to stop unwanted federal legislation, the ability of the District to garner useful benefits from the federal government, the ability of District residents to receive help with their federally related problems, the impact of the District’s status on the political participation of its citizens, and a comparison of the District’s representation in Congress to the national capital cities in all the world’s democracies.

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