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Eni Faleomavaega

Always on the bench

WASHINGTON -- Donna Christensen, then new in Congress, was passionately opposed to the motion to impeach President Bill Clinton in December 1998. Whatever his mistakes, Christensen believed, Clinton did not deserve to be removed from office.

But Christensen, who represents the Virgin Islands, could not vote. She was reduced to speaking on the House floor only after the impeachment vote and declared that if she could have, she would have voted no.

"We're all generally forgotten or on the back burner," Christensen said recently, referring to herself and the four other nonvoting delegates in the House. "We're not often considered when legislation is being...