The House of Representatives has voted on a bill to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and trying to deeply enfranchise, and enrich over 712,000 Americans, according to NPR.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, the district’s nonvoting delegate, has said, “This country was founded on the principles of no taxation without representation and consent of the governed. But D.C. residents are taxed without representation and cannot consent to the laws under which they as American citizens must live.”
Her statehood bill, H.R. 51, would reduce the size of the federal district and create a new state with the remaining territory with two U.S. senators and a representative, placing residents on equal footing with voters in other states. Statehood advocates contend the cause is also a fight for racial justice. If admitted, Washington, D.C., would be the first state with a plurality of Black residents. House Democrats passed Norton’s bill last year. However, the legislation never reached the GOP-led senate.
But now, the Democrats are controlling the White House and the Senate which makes their proposition look more and more like a reality. However, it’s unclear whether or not all of the Democrats will agree to this new statehood.
“The folks who live in the beacon of democracy that is the nation’s capital don’t have a voice,” claimed Ravi Perry, chair of the political science department at Howard University and one of the board members of DC Vote, which is a statehood advocacy organization.
President Biden has continued to push and express support for D.C. statehood and on Tuesday, the White House called on Congress to provide a swift transition to statehood for the residents of Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., promised to bring the measure to the Senate floor for a vote. However, 60 votes are currently what is needed for the legislative filibuster and Republicans are firmly against the statehood proposition.