WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Washington, D.C. has another chance at statehood, thanks to Senate Democrats who reintroduced legislation Wednesday.
Statehood would give D.C. full representation in Congress. Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, who’s leading the effort, said, “#DCStatehood isn’t a Republican or a Democratic issue. It’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation for D.C. residents is clearly inconsistent with the values on which this country was founded.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has long advocated for D.C. statehood, said representatives’ support is “a promising sign that our country is finally ready to right this historic wrong.”
D.C. has 712 residents, more than Vermont and Wyoming, and its residents pay more in federal income tax than residents in 22 other states.
While D.C. has representation in the U.S. House of Representatives with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, she cannot vote.
According to the District, 86 percent of voters supported the Washington, DC Admission Act. They’ve especially felt the heat during the coronavirus pandemic; Mayor Bowser requested $750 million of Covid relief from Congress but was only granted about $500 million. That’s because the CARES Act defines Washington, D.C. as a territory, not a state.
The bill will have to pass in the House, the Senate, and be signed by the president.