WaPo: House Democrats To Vote On Making DC The 51st State
House Democrats will soon vote on D.C. statehood for the first time in a generation, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) has scheduled a floor vote for June 26.
Legislation to make D.C. the 51st state is expected to pass the House “with an overwhelming majority of Democrats, which would be a watershed moment for pro-statehood activists and the first time in U.S. history that either chamber of Congress has advanced a statehood bill.”
Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and President Donald Trump oppose the move.
McConnell said the legislation would not see a Senate vote while he is in charge.
Trump has said Republicans would be “very very stupid” to allow statehood for D.C., The Post reported, “since its overwhelmingly Democratic voter base would be granted the power to elect two new senators and a voting member of the House.”
Recent protests over the death of George Floyd, police brutality and racial injustice thrust the issue back into the limelight, according to the report.
“There’s no doubt in my mind if this were a Republican city and a white city that this would have happened some time ago, and it should happen,” Hoyer said in an interview Monday. “I’ve decided that this is the time to fully engage the reality of the moment as to whether we are going to treat people with the respect and dignity and the rights they should have under the constitution of the United States of America.”
The announced vote “comes just over two weeks after federal authorities pushed peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square outside the White House before Trump traversed the area to have his photograph taken.”
The Post said Hoyer, “D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s nonvoting delegate in Congress, will announce the date of the vote at a news conference Tuesday morning.”
The statehood bill, introduced by Norton, would shrink the seat of the federal government to a two-square-mile enclave, encompassing the White House, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court and other federal buildings. The rest of the District would become known as the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.