The House Oversight Committee is expected to pass a measure that would make Washington, D.C. the nation’s 51st state. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, a committee member who has represented Washington, D.C. as a delegate since 1991, will hold a hearing at 10 a.m.
“H.R. 51 would admit the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth into the Union and reduce the size of the federal district. The bill has 215 cosponsors and an identical version was passed by the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress,” according to a statement on the House Oversight Committee’s website.
Norton, who introduced the bill, has noted that D.C. “pays more federal taxes per capita than any state … and pays more federal taxes than 22 states.”
“Congress can no longer allow D.C. residents to be sidelined in the democratic process, watching as Congress votes on matters that affect the nation with no say of their own, or watching as Congress votes to overturn the laws of the duly elected D.C. Council with no say of their own,” Norton argued during a hearing last month. “Full democracy requires much more.”
According to a poll conducted by Data for Progress and the progressive advocacy coalition Democracy for All 2021 Action and shared first with CBS News, 54% of likely voters think Washington, D.C. should be a state. 74% of Democratic respondents approve of statehood for D.C. Little more than a third (34%) of Republicans also support it. Urban voters (57%) and suburban voters (56%) clearly support it, as well as 57% of voters who live in swing states.
The bill is likely to stall in an evenly divided Senate.
Senate Democrats reintroduced a bill that would give D.C. statehood earlier this year.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.