The House of Representatives
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a non-citizen voting bill AFP

House Democratic leadership is pushing for the party's lawmakers to vote against a Republican bill blocking a Washington, D.C. bill that allows non-citizens to vote in local elections, Axios reported on Monday.

The strategy could see some defections, as the vote could stir controversy in some districts where Democrats are in more vulnerable positions. Votes against crime and immigration bills could erode their images with part of the electorate and reduce their chances of reelection.

The vote is set to take place later this week and marks the second time Republicans try to overturn non-citizen voting in D.C. They had succeeded in the House vote in February, voting 260-162 to overturn the ordinance, but the measure didn't get a vote in the Senate.

The outlet recounted that a whip question sent to House Democrats shows they are urged to vote no on the bill. House Minority Leader Katherine Clark's office said that "16 other jurisdictions across the U.S. have enacted similar provisions," which allow non-citizens to vote.

"House Republicans are once again attempting to undermine the political self-determination of the nearly 700,000 residents of Washington, D.C.," it added, noting that most House Democrats have voted in the past to support D.C.'s right for self-governance and statehood. However, the previous vote regarding the issue had the support from 42 Democrats, including 25 who co-sponsored legislation to grant statehood to Washington, D.C.

"An individual who is not a citizen of the United States may not vote in an election for public office in the District of Columbia or in any ballot initiative or referendum in the District of Columbia," the bill reads.

Axios added that this is just one of many measures House Republicans have taken to change local laws through their majority in the House. The ability to change criminal sentencing laws and local traffic laws are some other initiatives that received the House's attention.

The bill is not expected to become a law, but could give fresh ammunition to Republicans as electoral campaigns heat up. National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Will Reinert said Democrats "are already on the record supporting giving illegal migrants the right to vote and any change in their position is just disgusting election-year politics."

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