US House approves making DC the 51st state without single Republican vote

By Casey Harper | The Center Square

Democrats in the House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state in the union, a move that would almost certainly strengthen the Democrats’ Senate majority and bolster their ranks in the House.

The bill passed, 216-208, without any Republican support.

A Rasmussen poll released in March found only 29% of Americans supported D.C. statehood and 55% opposed it. The rest were unsure.

“In no other democratic nation in the world does the capital city of that nation not have a vote in their parliament,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., “Now our ‘parliament’ is called the Congress. Think of that, in no other democratic nation in the world are their citizens treated unequally in terms of a vote in the parliament of their nation.”

Many constitutional scholars, though, argued D.C. statehood cannot be accomplished through legislation.

“DC statehood can only happen by constitutional amendment,” said Jenna Ellis, who was a legal adviser to former President Donald Trump and is a constitutional law attorney. “The founders designed the district because federal government needs to have independent control over the seat of government. Read Federalist 43.”

The District of Columbia has a population of roughly 700,000, more than Vermont or Wyoming and just a little less than Alaska. The district already has a nonvoting Democratic representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton. She praised the bill’s passage.

“Today’s victory was historic, both for D.C. residents and for the cause of D.C. statehood,” Norton said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., expressed support for D.C. statehood when it was passed during the Trump administration, but that legislation never gained traction. This time around, the bill faces a difficult road ahead in the Senate.

“It is past time to end the historic disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and make D.C. a state,” Sen. Schumer said when the provision passed the House last year. “As one of my top priorities when it comes to voting rights and democracy reform, I will keep working in the Senate to secure statehood, full voting rights and full home rule, for D.C. in this Congress and beyond.”

Hoyer, though, also called for an end to the filibuster to get this legislation and their other controversial agenda items to the president’s desk.

“There are no provisions in the Constitution about a filibuster, so, frankly, I think that filibuster rule ought to be eliminated in the United States so that democracy can prevail,” Hoyer said.

The statehood legislation provides that “the commonwealth shall be admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the other states.” That means representation in the House and Senate and notably, more weight in Congress likely going to the Democratic Party.

The residents of Washington voted more than 90% for both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and President Joe Biden in 2020, leaving little doubt about what party their members of Congress would support.

Republicans pointed to this leftward bias as evidence that D.C. statehood is only about expanding Democratic power.

“The Democrats’ D.C. statehood scheme is about two things: consolidating power and enacting radical policies,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “The American people see right through this blatant power grab.”

A contingent within the district has pushed for statehood for years under the motto, “taxation without representation,” a reference to the same slogan that united the American colonies against the British during the American Revolution. That motto dons license plates registered in the district today.

“I voted YES for DC statehood,” Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, wrote on Twitter. “The Districts 700,000 residents, who pay more taxes than 21 states, deserve full representation and an equal voice. No taxation without representation.”

Image courtesy of U.S. Congress

5 thoughts on “US House approves making DC the 51st state without single Republican vote

  1. The US Constitution specifically states DC is the seat of the US government
    In fact, a lot of people in DC are squatting on US government property

    It would be best to move the people out of DC and cover DC with government buildings, instead of spreading them to nearby states.

    If DC people are so eager to vote, there are 50 states to move to.

    The US Senate requires 60 votes.
    There is no way the Republicans will be stupid enough to be suicidal.

    Hair-do, maskless Pelosi should go back to California and not come back, ASAP, instead of being a champion of lost causes, that is meant to inflame and rile up.

    Establishing a city state with the power to make laws affecting US government operations?
    Where would that lead?

  2. Of significance, has anyone noticed that with the elimination of the filibuster- The United States would no longer be a Constitutional Republic? We would instead and only for a short while become a democracy. Since the US Supreme Court has effectively recused themselves as the third equal branch of government- now choosing to hear cases based on current political popularity- The Senate filibuster is the last obstacle to majority rule. And only by a sliver.
    History has shown that a Democracy doesn’t last long, before transitioning into Anarchy.

  3. Swampopoulos would be a good name for the most corrupt 68.3 sq miles pit that has no business being a state. This should have to be ratified by the States to even be legal.. not up to pelosi and her band of twits..and yes it’s ALL about the power and keeping
    the power to the liberal fascists.

  4. James Madison. Madison writes,

    “ Without (the District), not only the public authority might be insulted and its proceedings interrupted with impunity; but a dependence of the members of the general government on the State comprehending the seat of the government, for protection in the exercise of their duty, might bring on the national councils an imputation of awe or influence, equally dishonorable to the government and dissatisfactory to the other members of the Confederacy.”

  5. So we are going to make small cities states? How does this make any sense?

    So how many other cities are we going to make states?

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