D.C. Statehood Bill Passes in House

Eleanor+Holmes-Norton%2C+delegate+to+Congress%2C+speaks+at+a+news+conference+held+just+before+the+House+vote+%28photo+courtesy+AP+News%29.

Eleanor Holmes-Norton, delegate to Congress, speaks at a news conference held just before the House vote (photo courtesy AP News).

Taylor Dent, Stampede Editor in Chief

A 216-208 vote in the House of Representatives has passed through a bill that moves to make Washington D.C. the country’s 51st state. The bill proposes keeping a small portion of land – the part that includes various government buildings, like the White House and the National Mall – as a federal district as stipulated in the Constitution. The new state would become Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, named for the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and would have one representative in the House.

This is not the first time D.C. statehood has passed in the House; it was previously approved in 2020, but the then-Republican-controlled Senate killed it before it could become law. Now, Democrats are hopeful that the 50-50 Senate – with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie breaking vote – will push the bill through.

The main reason that so many are pushing for D.C.’s statehood has to do with taxation. Residents of the district pay taxes, but have no representation in Congress. Those in favor argue that this was the concept America was founded on, and it is therefore hypocritical to deny D.C. representation in the federal legislature.

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