The White House formally declared its support for a measure that would grant Washington, D.C. statehood this morning.
“Establishing the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state will make our Union stronger and more just,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement of administration policy. “Washington, D.C. has a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy.”
The White House called on Congress “to provide for a swift and orderly transition to statehood for the people of Washington, D.C.”
The House this week will vote on the measure, which just last week was approved by the House Oversight Committee.
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.
Washington, D.C. is home to more than 700,000 residents––that’s more than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. But D.C. lacks representation in Congress; those who oppose a statehood measure believe it would only advance the Democratic Party’s interests, guaranteeing it two seats on Capitol Hill. Some also say the move would violate the 23rd Amendment, which allows D.C. residents to vote in presidential elections but gives them as much say as the residents of the “least populous State.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.