Politics

~

Democrats in the House approved a bill to admit Washington DC as a state on Friday, the first time either chamber of Congress has moved forward with a DC statehood measure

PHOTO CREDITS: TASOS KATOPODIS/GETTY

Democrats in the House approved a bill to admit Washington DC as a state on Friday, the first time either chamber of Congress has moved forward with a DC statehood measure, according to CNN. The bill was introduced by DC’s nonvoting House member Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, and passed with a 232-180 vote. It would shrink the federal capital to a small area that includes the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and some other federal buildings along the National Mall. The rest of the city would become part of the 51st state, called the Washington, Douglass Commonwealth after abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota was the only Democrat to join all of the Republicans in voting against the bill. Independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan also voted against the measure. The new bill would grant DC its own senators and turn the existing sole House representative into a voting member. ~

Although it does not seem likely that the bill would gain any momentum in the Republican-majority senate, the White House made a statement this week claiming that President Trump would veto the bill if it came to his desk. Trump told the New York Post last month that DC statehood will “never happen unless we have some very, very stupid Republicans.” He went on to say “DC will never be a state,” saying in the interview. “You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No thank you. ~

In recent weeks, Democrats have argued that the time is now for statehood, following the Trump administration mobilizing federal law enforcement to respond to protests about racism in the police force. They expressed disagreement with Trump clearing out protesters from outside the White House earlier this month to allow for his photo op at St. John’s church. “Not only do we not have voting senators and our congresswoman not have the right to vote, the whims of the federal government can encroach on our even limited autonomy, and it can do so in ways that are threats to all of the American states and all of the American people,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday. ~

Leave a Reply