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Joe Manchin Nullifies the Rights of 700K By Opposing DC Statehood

Joe Manchin Nullifies the Rights of 700K By Opposing DC Statehood

Senator Joe Manchin is the Democratic Senator from West Virginia who almost never votes with his party. While Manchin represents a very Red state, he’s still supposed to act like a member of the party on whose platform he runs and alleges to support. Quickly becoming a favorite punching bag for Twitter based on his voting record already, Manchin just gave everyone another reason to get their gloves out on Friday when he said he’ll once again break with the Dems and vote against making Washington, D.C., a state.

Ignoring the fact that 700,000 DC residents are paying taxes with zero representation in Congress, Manchin said that he opposes the unilateral action by Congress to make the nation’s capital a state and that he believes it needs to be done through a constitutional amendment. He said prior Republican and Democratic administrations thought the same thing.

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 16: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) questions Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, during his testimony before an oversight hearing to examine the Federal Communications Commission spectrum auctions program for fiscal year 2021 on June 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. The hearing was held by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. (Photo by Toni Sandys-Pool/Getty Images)

“They all came to the same conclusion. If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment,” Manchin said in an interview with the West Virginia MetroNews radio network. “It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote.”

Earlier this month, the House approved a bill strictly along party lines to make the District of Columbia a state with one representative and two senators, while a tiny sliver of land including the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the National Mall would remain a federal district.

Manchin has also stated unequivocally that he will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster. He is among a handful of Democratic senators who have not openly supported the D.C. statehood initiative.

Republicans argued during the House vote that the measure wouldn’t withstand judicial scrutiny. Manchin said he would “tell his friends” that if they pursued statehood through legislation, “you know it’s going to go to the Supreme Court.”

Such an amendment would not go up for an election. Rather, a proposed amendment to the Constitution would have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of both chambers of Congress, and then legislatures in 38 states must ratify the language adopted by Congress in order for the amendment to become valid. While Constitution does not prohibit the granting of statehood to Washington, D.C., it does lay out the process by which states are admitted.


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