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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Signs On To DC Statehood Bill

Patch logo Patch 1/11/2019 Dan Taylor
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WASHINGTON, DC -- The D.C. statehood movement has a new supporter: rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the youngest woman elected to Congress, has been making headlines ever since her surprise defeat of a longtime incumbent. Now, she joins Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as a high-profile outside supporter of D.C. statehood.

D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton thanked Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet Thursday for co-sponsoring H.R. 51, the "Washington, D.C. Admission Act." She was one of 174 co-sponsors for the bill as of Friday morning. That's the most since Holmes-Norton first introduced the bill in 1991.

"Looking forward to working with you to end #TaxationWithoutRepresentation in the nation’s capital and grant full and equal citizenship to DC’s 700,000 residents," Holmes-Norton wrote to the freshman congresswoman.

Despite being from New York, Ocasio-Cortez has taken an interest in issues concerning the District. She famously pilloried the high cost of rent that prevented her from getting a home here before her swearing in this month.

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She also tweeted in early December that she visited a "dive spot" in D.C. for late night food and chatted with the staff, noting that several there currently worked in Senate and House offices and couldn't afford to live in D.C. on just that job.

Although the bill stands zero chance of passage with a Republican Senate and president, it could go further than ever with Democrats in the House majority, and DCist reports that Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings has promised the bill would get a hearing and markup. It may even get a floor vote.

Republicans are opposed to D.C. statehood because it would result in, most likely, two guaranteed Democratic U.S. Senators, as well as a member of Congress. They have argued instead that D.C. should stay the way it is, without voting representation, or that it be absorbed into Maryland, which is already heavily Democratic.

(Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images)

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