Senate Democrats begin push for Washington, DC statehood

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper led a group of Democratic lawmakers Wednesday morning to reintroduce legislation to make Washington, D.C., a state.

The bill, which Carper first introduced in 2013, would make the District of Columbia the 51st state in the union and give its residents full representation in Congress.

While Washington’s residential population exceeds that of Vermont and Wyoming, Republicans argue the move is an unconstitutional power grab intended to expand Democrats’ votes in the Senate.

“Our nation’s capital is home to more than 700,000 Americans who, despite our nation’s founding mantra — ‘no taxation without representation’ — pay their share of taxes without full voting representation in either chamber of Congress,” Carper said in a statement. “We must use our voices to call out this historic injustice and right this wrong. I am hopeful that we can finally come together to do just that this Congress.”

The legislation needs at least 60 votes to pass the Senate in order to get past a filibuster, so 10 Republicans are necessary unless Democrats decide to end the filibuster and Vice President Kamala Harris casts a tiebreaking vote.

According to Carper, the bill would also “designate the areas surrounding the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the National Mall as the seat of the federal government. That area would inherit the name the ‘Capital’ and remain under the control of Congress, as mandated by the Constitution.”

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has long been an advocate for statehood and reiterated her support for the issue on Jan. 6 before the assault on the Capitol.

“Just like the millions of Americans who voted nationwide and the thousands who organized and voted in Georgia, we are ready to build a more perfect union — one in which all voices are heard, one in which we work together to uplift families in cities, and suburbs, and small towns, and one in which the 712,000 residents of Washington, D.C., have full access to our nation’s democracy,” Bowser said.

House Democrats have included support for the district’s statehood and Puerto Rico statehood in their H.R. 1 legislation reintroduced two weeks ago, meaning it’s a top priority for the party. Via – The Washington Examiner

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