Unfortunately That’s a Pretty Big If

by Prince Of Petworth March 1, 2017 at 2:45 pm 18 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Senator Tom Carper (DE), Shadow Senator Michael Brown, Shadow Senator Paul Strauss, Shadow U.S. Representative Franklin Garcia, and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to announce the introduction of the Washington, DC Admission Act. With a record number of cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Norton introduced her bill to make Washington, DC the 51st state. Senator Carper will introduce the bill in the Senate.

“We are here today because we are setting a bold path forward for DC statehood. DC’s values are American values – we all value democracy and believe that our country’s power should reside in the people,” said Mayor Bowser. “Washington, DC has a self-sufficient, effective and responsible government; we are no more reliant on the federal government than any other city or state. Washingtonians serve our country in the military and pay more per capita in federal taxes than every other state, yet when the U.S. Congress votes on important issues that affect all Americans, we have no representation. It is time to fix this great civil rights injustice and give the 681,000 residents of Washington, DC full access to our country’s democracy.”

In the past, Congresswoman Norton has introduced DC statehood bills with each new Congress, previously known as the New Columbia Admission Act. The bill introduced in the 115th Congress will reflect the statehood efforts of the New Columbia Statehood Commission and the historic support of 85.6 percent of voters on the November ballot question. This is the first time that the bill will be called the “Washington, DC Admission Act” to reflect the new name selected by the DC Council.

“Today we have taken DC statehood to the next level,” said Congresswoman Norton. “Congress has received the petition for statehood reflecting the 85 percent vote by residents of our city; I have introduced the statehood bill with more original cosponsors joining me than ever before; and we had with us Senator Tom Carper, who held the first-ever Senate hearing on statehood and is the principal sponsor of the Senate statehood bill. I look forward to working with our leaders to continue garnering historic support for statehood in Congress, the District, and throughout the nation.”

“It is the height of irony that residents living within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol, a symbol of representative democracy recognized around the world, continue to be denied full representation within its walls. The more than 650,000 residents of the District of Columbia are bound by the laws set by Congress, pay federal taxes and fight and die in our wars like all other Americans. In return, they are owed equal representation in Congress,” said Senator Carper. “This bill would end a longstanding injustice and make the District of Columbia the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth with full voting rights in Congress. I look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Norton, Mayor Bowser and my colleagues in Congress to finally do the right thing by these Americans.”

The bills will be referred to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the U.S. Senate. Each Committee will have the opportunity to hold hearings and consider the legislation in order to bring it to a full vote. If passed by a simple majority in both chambers and signed by the President, the bill will become law and the State of Washington, DC will finally be admitted to the Union.

  • Jay

    maybe if we all just tell donald trump how popular he is, how overwhelming his electoral college victory was, and how he has single-handedly created an unimpeachable (heh) Republican majority, we can convince him he has nothing to worry about with a few additional Democratic congresspeople… I mean, they’re already rolling out flags with 51 stars (see https://www.washingtonian.com/2017/02/21/eu-greets-vice-president-pence-51-star-american-flag/)… they could claim they were ahead of the story on DC statehood!

  • PJL

    This is going nowhere. So wait. After trying out different names for a state, the DC Council finally settled on the very original state name of “Washington, DC”? At least it would be the first state with a comma? Does the “DC” still stand for anything if the official name is simply the letters? If it does, our state name continues to refer to us as a district? So many questions!

    • shmoo

      i believe it stands for douglas commonwealth

    • Truxton Thomas

      Yes, Washington, Douglass Commonwealth. Welcome to October 2016.

      • PJL

        Lol apologies to you for my serious mistake. Even still, I think that makes it worse. Should this lead to statehood (which it won’t), everyone will think it still stands for District of Columbia…including the uninformed like me who actually reside here!

  • Dc20009

    Is Washington, Douglass Commonwealth locked in? I like the concept but the execution is confusing.

  • Dc20009

    Maybe if everyone changes their registration to Republican we can get Congress to consider this.

  • Anon

    DC residents pay more federal income taxes than many other states. Just look at Jason Chaffetz’s state of Utah. With a population of 2.9 million in 2014 they paid 18.4 billion and ~660,000 DC residents paid 26.4 billion. It’s unfair that we are treated like second-class citizens. If they don’t want to give us representation, then treat us like Puerto Rico (at least they don’t pay federal income taxes). Republicans champion local/state governance, but then they want to deny us fiscal autonomy. We’re not government robots – real families, small business owners, and veterans etc live in DC.

  • Forget statehood. Such efforts are a waste of time. If we really want to protest let’s start a movement to get everyone in DC to simply stop paying their Federal taxes. I know…hard to do, but what is not hard to do is to simply increase one’s exemptions into the teens, thus starving the Feds of your withholding payments. Then, at tax time, just don’t file. And and far as enfranchisement goes…think retrocession to Maryland. It’s really the only viable option.

    • -A

      then we can all be criminals!

  • Big Pappa

    Where was this partisan contempt in 2009 when Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate and Obama in the White House?

    • BlueStreak

      The Democrats never had 60 votes in the Senate. It’s the whole reason the GOP was able to block so much.

      • DM

        Yes, they did. For about 11 months, after Al Franken was seated and before Ted Kennedy died. That’s why Scott Brown’s campaign (for Kennedy’s seat in Mass.) was literally 1) break the supermajority to stop the Affordable Care Act, and 2) I have a truck.

    • anononon

      In the red states. duh

    • Blithe

      The partisan contempt has been emanating from McConnell at least as far back as 2009. It certainly was apparent during Obama’s tenure in the White House. One of the most flagrant examples of partisan contempt that I can recall from 2009 was when Joe Wilson shouted at the President when Obama was addressing congress. I guess one could say that certain kinds of contempt are as American as apple pie.

    • textdoc

      What “partisan contempt” are you talking about?

      • Blithe

        I glad that you’re asking this textdoc — since I impulsively jumped into the fray without clarifying that first! :-/


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