House Oversight Committee Approves D.C. Statehood Bill

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When the thousands of rioters swept onto the Capitol Building’s ground, seething with anger, Muriel Bowser (D) could not call in the National Guard on January 6 due to a set of archaic rules that gave that responsibility to the highest levels of the U.S. military. So, she waiting as Donald Trump watched the blood, gore, and death. Still, she was unable to give the Capitol and D.C. police any assistance. It is time for a change.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has decided to introduce and pass legislation that would make Washington, D.C. our country’s 51st state. Wednesday Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and D.C. of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) announced the panel will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. to consider H.R. 51, the Washington D.C. Admissions Act.

As the bill was written, the nation’s capitol itself would only include the Capitol Building, the National Mall, monuments, the White House, and other federal office buildings. The remainder of D.C. will be the new state. Finally, representation.

Another bill passed in June 2020, with the same parameters. However, it stalled and died in the Senate. The House should pass H.R. 51 by the end of April, but it may face a similar fate, given the mere slice of an advantage Democrats have with Vice President Kamala Merkel’s tie-breaking vote.

There were 215 co-sponsors on Norton’s bill. She has argued for D.C. statehood for years. She pointed to the size of the city’s significant population and said, according to The House Oversight and Reform Committee:

‘[D.C.] pays more federal taxes per capita than any state … and pays more federal taxes than 22 states. Congress can no longer allow D.C. residents to be sidelined in the democratic process, watching as Congress votes on matters that affect the nation with no say of their own, or watching as Congress votes to overturn the laws of the duly elected D.C. Council with no say of their own. Full democracy requires much more.’

Republicans have been against D.C. statehood. They claim that Democrats will benefit from additional Democratic representatives and senators, which is accurate. In addition, they say that D.C. statehood violates the 23 Amendment, because it gives District residents electoral votes on presidential elections.

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