House Set to Vote For 2nd Time on Washington, DC Statehood After Push From Advocates
The piece of legislation, titled H.R. 51, would grant D.C., two U.S. senators and voting representation in the House.
The House of Representatives will officially vote on Washington, D.C.'s statehood this month, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote in a letter Tuesday, according to CBS News. If the bill is passed, the District of Columbia would become the 51st state of the United States.
The piece of legislation, titled H.R. 51, would grant D.C., two U.S. senators, and voting representation in the House.
"[W]e expect the House to pass the D.C. statehood bill for the second time in history," she said.
"The week of April 19th the House will take a historic step in righting the monumental wrong of denying the 712,000 federal taxpaying American citizens who live in the nation’s capital voting representation in Congress and self-government without congressional interference into local affairs," delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who drafted and reintroduced the bill titled H.R. 51 said in a statement.
Advocates have pushed for D.C.'s statehood for decades. A national poll by Data for Progress in March found that 54% of likely voters believe the district should be its own state.
With just 700,000 residents, the majority are people of color, a move to grant statehood would be a triumphant move for the fight on racial justice. Right now, D.C. residents pay more in federal taxes than 21 other states and more per capita than any state, according to reports.
Washington, D.C. is the home of the Nacotchtank people, also known as Anacostans, but after the community was pushed out of their land by British colonists, it became part of both Maryland and Virginia, according to History.com.
Later, the states gave up the territory and it was made into the District of Columbia and established as the country's capital. At the time, it reportedly had too few residents to become a state, the outlet reported.
A growing Black population began to surface in D.C. and in the 1870s, Congress stripped the territory of its local representation as a way to deter the newly enfranchised community of any political power.
Until 1964, residents of D.C. couldn't even vote, the Economist reported.
Last year, the House approved a D.C. statehood by a vote of 232 to 180 but it did not reach the Senate, which was then controlled by the Republican party.
Most legislation requires 60 votes to advance. Even with a 50-seat Democrat majority in the Senate, political analysts are uncertain if the bill will garner enough Republican support.
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