House Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced Wednesday that the House will vote on the D. C. statehood bill for the second time two weeks from now. Although it is certain to pass the Democrat-controlled House, its fate is uncertain in the tied Senate with GOP members opposing the measure.
“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,” Norton said in a statement.
Last year, the House passed a D. C. statehood bill, H.R. 51, in a 232-180 vote, with no Republican lawmaker voting in favor of the bill and it later stalled in the GOP-led Senate.
The effort for statehood, which would endow the citizens of D. C. full representation in Congress and control over issues that affect the district, was started in 2013 by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and has been championed by Norton in the House.
Carper and fellow Democrats say it is consistent with what the found fathers envisioned for America and fair representation.
“This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; it’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation for D. C. residents is clearly inconsistent with the values on which this country was founded,” Carper said in a statement in January.
Currently, the Democrats have a slight advantage of 51-50 majority in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote. Nonetheless, they have to work with the legislative filibuster which means they need at least 10 Republicans to join them to get to the 60-vote threshold.
“I look forward to passing H. R. 51 out of the House for the second time and urge the Senate to follow our example,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) Chair of the House Oversight a... (Read more)
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