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House Dems Pass Ill-Fated DC Statehood Bill

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The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that would make Washington, D.C., a state.

The Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which had 227 Democratic co-sponsors, was originally introduced by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s nonvoting at-large representative in Congress, in October of last year.

It passed Friday 232-180 without any Republican support.

“My great-grandfather, who walked away from slavery in Virginia, got as far as the District of Columbia — got freedom, but not to equality,” Holmes Norton told NPR’s Ari Shapiro.

Though the bill was all but assured to pass the Democratic House, it is likely dead-on-arrival in the Republican Senate.

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Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell likened the D.C. statehood efforts to “full-bore socialism,” telling Laura Ingraham in June 2019 that “as long as I’m the majority leader of the Senate, none of that stuff is going anywhere.”

President Donald Trump also said that he would veto the bill if it landed on his desk in a statement.

Should D.C. be a state?

Despite D.C. residents paying full federal taxes, they are not granted voting representation in Congress.

While the District of Columbia would be the smallest state in terms of area, its population of approximately 700,000 is greater than that of both Wyoming and Vermont.

The district is overwhelmingly liberal, and would all but guarantee two additional Democratic senators and a Democratic representative in the House.

While Holmes Norton’s bill is unlikely to become law, public support for D.C. statehood has increased. Forty-eight percent of respondents to a 2020 Harris poll said they favored the measure, up from a 2019 Gallup poll that found that only 29 percent of Americans supported the measure.

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