WASHINGTON D.C. (ABC4) – Could a 51st state be added to the United States?
Some lawmakers are hoping so.
Two senators – Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Tom Carper of Delaware – and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington D.C. have reintroduced a bill to make Washington D.C. a state.
“For far too long, D.C. residents have been denied their right of self-governance and have faced taxation without representation,” says Sen. Van Hollen in a tweet. “Support is growing – now’s the time to get it done!”
Sen. Carper says it is not a partisan issue.
“It’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation given to D.C. residents is clearly inconsistent w/ the values on which this country was founded. It’s why I’m proud to introduce #S51 in support of #DCStatehood,” he tweeted.
Congresswoman Holmes Norton thanked Carper for introducing the Senate companion to her statehood bill.
In an earlier tweet, she says 209 cosponsors have signed onto the bill.
In 2020, the House of Representatives passed a D.C. statehood bill with 38 cosponsors in the Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The bill would provide voting representation for the city, which has about 692,000 residents. That is more than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. Further, the bill would isolate the White House, Capitol, and National Mall to remain under federal control as the seat of the U.S. government.
Mayor Muriel Bowser has expressed her support for the move, saying granting D.C. statehood “cannot wait.”
“Generations of Washingtonians have been denied the right to participate in our democracy – to have their voices and votes heard in Congress, to help shape the future of our nation, and to have a say on Supreme Court justices.
According to reports, the argument of D.C. statehood gained more urgency after the violence at the U.S. Capitol in early January.
Because D.C. is not a state, only the White House can mobilize the D.C. National Guard. Lawmakers have been questioning why local Guard members were not quickly activated as the violence began.
CBS News reports that Republican lawmakers have filibustered attempts to make D.C. a state, with many believing the action would grant Democrats two more senators. D.C. is a largely Democratic area.
Without eliminating the filibuster, legislation to make D.C. a state would likely fall short, as it has in the past.