The House Oversight and Reform Committee is expected to pass legislation on Wednesday that would make Washington, D.C., the nation’s 51st state.
Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyFDA ends restrictions on mailing abortion pills during pandemic Hillicon Valley: Parler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot | Warner presses Zuckerberg to tackle vaccine misinfo on Facebook, Instagram | U.S. schools increasingly resuming in-person learning Parler says it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot MORE (D-N.Y.) and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonDC delegate pushes for removing Capitol fence despite car attack Lawmakers struggle with Capitol security after latest attack Senators to unveil bill banning permanent Capitol fence MORE (D) announced on Wednesday that the panel will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. to consider H.R. 51, also known as the Washington D.C. Admissions Act.
Under the bill, the capital would shrink to only include the National Mall, monuments, White House and other federal buildings, while the rest of the city becomes a new state.
An identical version of the bill passed in June 2020 but stalled in the Senate.
While the House is expected to pass H.R. 51 later this month, it will again likely stall in an evenly divided Senate.
Norton, who sponsored the bill with 215 co-sponsors, has long advocated for the District to become a state. During a hearing last month, she noted that the city “pays more federal taxes per capita than any state … and pays more federal taxes than 22 states.”
“Congress can no longer allow D.C. residents to be sidelined in the democratic process, watching as Congress votes on matters that affect the nation with no say of their own, or watching as Congress votes to overturn the laws of the duly elected D.C. Council with no say of their own,” Norton said. “Full democracy requires much more.”
Republicans, however, argue that Democrats are attempting a power grab because the city generally leans Democratic. The GOP also argues that giving statehood to D.C. would violate the 23rd Amendment, which provides District residents electoral votes on presidential elections.