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DC Statehood Moves Closer To Passing House: Del. Norton

Patch logo Patch 5 days ago Dan Taylor
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WASHINGTON, DC — The D.C. statehood bill has almost enough cosponsors to pass the House with cosponsors alone, according to Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Norton tweeted Monday night that she spoke on the House floor to ask "remaining straggling House members" to cosponsor the bill making D.C. the 51st state.

The bill would shrink the federal district to the "federal core" including the National Mall, U.S. Capital, White House, and other federal buildings clustered in that area. It's not the first time the original 10-square-mile district has been shrunk: Congress passed legislation in 1846 returning all the District's territory south of the Potomac River to Virginia, creating Arlington and Alexandria.

Democratic presidential candidates have come out in favor of D.C. statehood, including South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who listed D.C. statehood as one of several fundamental changes he hoped to make as president during a debate earlier this summer among other contenders for the Democratic nomination.

"When I propose the actual structural democratic reforms that might make a difference -- end the electoral college, amend the Constitution if necessary to clear up Citizens United, have D.C. actually be a state, and depoliticize the supreme court with structural reform -- people look at me funny," he said.

Fellow presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren also supports D.C. statehood. Warren tweeted back in January that although D.C. has more residents than Wyoming or Vermont, District residents "don't have an equal voice in our government," and called on followers to sign a petition demanding that D.C. become the 51st state.

However, while D.C. statehood has a chance to pass the Democrat-controlled House and advance further than it ever has, it has no chance at getting through the Republican-controlled Senate or President Trump because it would virtually guarantee two new Democratic U.S. senators and one U.S. representative. Instead, some Republicans have suggested that the District be absorbed into Maryland, which is already heavily Democratic. Other Republicans argue that D.C. residents should continue to not have any representation at all.

D.C. statehood also still has a long way to go to earn popular support among Americans. A Gallup poll in June found that 64 percent of Americans opposed making D.C. the 51st state and just 29 percent supported it. Even among Democrats, the proposal had just 39 percent support.

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