The case for granting full congressional representation to District residents rests on the unassailable premise of government by consent. However, Congress lacks the constitutional authority to simply grant the District a representative by fiat, as S. 1257 would do. The Constitution also limits representation to states alone. In seeking to resolve this genuine dilemma, Congress must examine solutions that do not violate the Constitution.
End Federal Taxation. Given its exclusive power over the District, Congress could abolish federal income taxes on District residents, providing a powerful solution to the city’s “taxation without representation” complaint. This is a reasonable compromise and fully within Congress’s powers. Other non-voting territories, like Puerto Rico, do not pay federal income taxes for similar reasons.