Washington DC has long been home to tax-paying citizens who do not enjoy the benefit of representation. Eleanor Holmes Norton currently serves the district as a non-voting member of Congress. While she is able to speak on the floor and join committees, she is not able to vote on legislation.
Today, Holmes Norton has introduced a bill that would make Washington DC the 51st State. While she has brought this bill forward before, this current version has more support with 151 co-sponsors. The measure would create a state out of DC’s 8 districts, with two US Senators and 1 US Congressperson. All Federal land and monuments would remain the property of the US Government.
House Oversight Committee Chairperson Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has promised to hold a hearing and a markup during 2019. Cummings said of the bill:
“We must protect the rights of everyone across the country, including the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who live in our nation’s capital. Congresswoman Norton has been a strong advocate for her constituents for many years, and now is the time to take action. I plan to schedule a hearing and markup this year in the Oversight Committee on her bill, H.R. 51, and I will work closely with our leadership to move this legislation onto the House floor.”
The bill will have an excellent chance of passing through the House. Passing through the Senate will be a much more difficult task. In 2016, Washington DC voted for Hillary Clinton in favor of Donald Trump 92%-4%. It would be very likely that the two new Senators and one new Congressperson would be Democrats. Even if the bill did somehow pass through the Senate, President Donald Trump would have the ability to veto the bill.
See Eleanor Holmes-Norton introduce the bill below:
Today as my first act of the 116th Congress, I signed and introduced #HR51 to make DC the 51st state, the only way to grant more than 700,000 taxpaying American citizens living in our nation’s capital their full democratic rights. #DCStatehood pic.twitter.com/MFCWl0sQYN
— Eleanor #DCStatehood Holmes Norton (@EleanorNorton) January 3, 2019
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.