Now Democrats are bringing the bill again up for consideration within the new Congress and pushing once more for its passage. This time, Democrats management a slender majority within the Senate, however the DC statehood bill would nonetheless face an uphill battle within the chamber the place it’s unlikely to get sufficient Republican help to clear a 60-vote threshold for passage.
H.R. 51 was launched by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s nonvoting House member and a longtime advocate for statehood.
At Wednesday’s markup, House oversight committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney will say, “The United States is the only democratic country that denies both voting rights in the national legislature and local self-government to the people of its capital. That is wrong. It violates everything we stand for as Americans,” in accordance to an excerpt from her opening assertion offered by the committee.
“Congress can no longer exclude D.C. residents from the democratic process, forcing residents to watch from the sidelines as Congress votes on laws that affect the nation or votes even on the laws of the duly elected D.C. government. Democracy requires much more,” Norton will say, in accordance to an excerpt of her opening remarks offered by the committee.
The House committee vote on the bill will pave the best way for a House flooring vote on the measure, which is anticipated to happen subsequent week.
Throughout the listening to, Democrats made clear that they see granting statehood to DC as a civil rights and illustration subject, whereas Republicans claimed making the nation’s capital the 51st state via laws, fairly than via a constitutional modification, defies the nation’s legal guidelines, and pushed again on different logistical and political points.
In her testimony, Bowser known as the instances made in opposition to HR 51, together with assertions that it’s unconstitutional or that Washington, DC, is just too small or cannot deal with governing itself, “bad faith arguments.”
“Arguing that Washingtonians must remain disenfranchised to protect the interests of the federal government is dangerous, outdated and downright insulting,” she mentioned.
NCS’s Kristin Wilson and Alison Main contributed to this report.