Washington, DC

From Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s office yesterday:

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s (D-DC) bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state was passed today in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, moving her statehood bill to the House floor for expected final passage. Norton is already working with more than 100 national organizations with records of getting bills passed in the Senate.

“For such a historic achievement for the District of Columbia, the only message I can convey is gratitude,” Norton said. “Thank you, Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), for your extraordinarily skillful and patient leadership, always with fairness to both sides. Thank you, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who appeared at an earlier press conference with Chairwoman Maloney and me, for your longtime leadership on statehood, democracy, and legislation for the District. Thank you to our more than 220 cosponsors and Committee Members who stood with the disenfranchised people of the District today. Above all, thank you District residents for turning out in large numbers to once again demand equality in the Congress. We have only one last hill to climb in the House – onward to the House floor!”

Norton’s bill would make most of the present-day District of Columbia into the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, with the remaining territory designated as the nation’s capital.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform had previously held a hearing on Norton’s bill on September 19th, 2019.  Norton has built historic support for the bill, which virtually assures House passage.  The bill currently has more than 220 House cosponsors; the Senate’s D.C. statehood bill, sponsored by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), also has the most cosponsors ever (35); the House-passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, contained extensive findings supporting D.C. statehood, marking the first time in history either chamber of Congress has endorsed D.C. statehood; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) strongly endorsed D.C. statehood upon introduction of H.R. 51; House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), a cosponsor of the statehood bill, endorsed D.C. statehood in a strong op-ed earlier this year; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unveiled a sweeping proposal to combat voter disenfranchisement, including restoring the Voting Rights Act, establishing national, automatic voter registration laws, and supporting D.C. statehood; and the bill is endorsed by nearly 100 national advocacy groups.


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