House Will Vote On D.C. Statehood Bill Next Week
Washington D.C. may become a state in the coming weeks, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) announced that the historic vote would take place next week.
The move, which would grant the District full representation and voting rights in Congress, comes amid a tumultuous time for particularly Black residents who have seen racial justice protests turn violent at the hands of law enforcement officials watched protesters be cleared out of the way with teargas so that President Donald Trump could pose for a photo op in front of a church.
“For more than two centuries, the residents of Washington D.C., the District of Columbia, have been denied their right to fully participate in their democracy,” Pelosi said. “And in recent days, we have seen a disturbing physical manifestation of that injustice when federal agents and out of state National Guard troops were deployed against peaceful protesters in the District without residents’ approval.”
“This is not just an issue of local governance and fairness, it is a major civil rights issue as well,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer D-Maryland) said. “This was an appropriate time to bring a bill forward to show respect for the citizens of the District of Columbia of whatever color, but also to show respect to a city that has a very large African American population.”
Trump brushed off the idea, calling it “very, very stupid.”
“So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No thank you. That’ll never happen,” Trump told the New York Post last month.
If granted statehood, D.C, would only be represented by two senators and one representative, not five.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, the nonvoting delegate from D.C. said statehood would end their “taxation without representation.”
“For the first time, statehood will put an end to our oldest slogan — ‘taxation without representation,’” Holmes Norton said Tuesday. “Statehood ensures that living in the nation’s capital is about pride, not prejudice.”
The House will vote on the bill June 26, though it is unlikely to pass the GOP-held Senate.