Just in time for his second inauguration, President Barack Obama's presidential limousine will be outfitted with the District of Columbia's "Taxation Without Representation" license plates this weekend, the White House announced Tuesday.
The message is a subtle, but some say important, reference to the district's 618,000 residents' lack of representation in the House and Senate.
"President Obama has lived in the district now for four years, and has seen first-hand how patently unfair it is for working families in D.C. to work hard, raise children and pay taxes, without having a vote in Congress," White House spokesman Keith Maley said in a statement. "Attaching these plates to the presidential vehicles demonstrates the president’s commitment to the principle of full representation for the people of the District of Columbia and his willingness to fight for voting rights, home rule and budget autonomy for the District."
President Bill Clinton placed the slogan on his limo's license plates when the District of Columbia introduced the protest plates in 2000, though they were later removed by President George W. Bush. The plates will stay on the president's official vehicles for the entirety of his four-year term.
Mayor Vincent Gray cheered Obama's move and thanked him for turning a spotlight on the city.
"I appreciate the president agreeing to bring attention to this important issue during the inauguration festivities," Gray told The Associated Press.
Obama had the best shot to gain representation for the district during the first two years of his presidency with Democrats controlling Congress. In 2009, the Senate passed a bill to give the district a vote on the House floor, but Republican senators added an amendment to dismantle the city's tight gun control laws. The bill ultimately died in the House.
The Presidential Inauguration 2013 is scheduled for Monday..
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