Democratic lawmakers introduce bill to make D.C. 51st state
After years of advocating for D.C. statehood, a bill has been introduced to make it a reality
Now that there’s a new administration in charge, Democrats are now pushing harder for Washington, D.C. to become a state.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, the longtime non-voting delegate to the District of Columbia, says she has over 200 co-sponsors in the House in support of finally getting statehood for the District. She introduced the legislation on Wednesday that could make D.C. the 51st state in America.
“It’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation given to the residents of D.C. is inconsistent with the values on which this country was founded,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del per ABC News. “It is therefore incumbent upon all of us who enjoy the right and the privilege of full voting rights and representation to take up the cause of our fellow citizens in the District of Columbia.”
The bill could pass in the House but would still need support from the Senate. Some GOP lawmakers have made it clear they are against the proposal.
Josh Burch, the founder of Neighbors United for D.C. Statehood says Republicans are afraid of D.C becoming a state because of its large Black population.
“They are afraid of us becoming a state because of the number of African Americans that live in the District, the number of people that vote Democratic in the District, the number of people who support pro-democracy, a liberal agenda,” he said per Washington City Paper.
Back in May, Donald Trump said D.C. statehood will never happen.
“D.C. will never be a state,” Trump told the New York Post. “You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No, thank you. That’ll never happen.”
D.C. is has a population of about 700,000, more than Vermont and Wyoming. More than 45% of its population is Black.
After decades of leading the fight for the D.C. to become a state, Norton believes it can happen now.
“There’s never been a time when statehood for the District was more likely,” said Norton, adding that the bill did pass in the House last year.
“We’re ready to achieve voting representation and full local self-government for the 712,000+ residents of the District of Columbia.”
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