House of Representatives Approves Bill to Make Washington, D.C. a State

Bryan Lim, Staff Writer

The House of Representatives has decided to approve legislation to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state of the United States. This approved legislation will be sent to the Senate. This is the second time the House of Representatives has approved of granting statehood in the last two years. 

However, most Republicans are against letting D.C. become a state, as it would most likely lead to two additional Democratic senators and a Democratic House member. They have also argued that the founders didn’t intend for D.C. to become a state.

For the bill’s supporters as well, D.C. would become a civil rights issue. D.C. has more than 700,000 people, but no representation in Congress. These advocates also said that, based on the 2019 IRS Data, D.C. pays more in federal taxes than 21 states in the U.S. 

“For far too long, the more than 700,000 people of Washington, D.C., have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress. This taxation without representation and denial of self governance is an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded. Establishing the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state will make our Union stronger and more just,” said the White House.  

If D.C. is allowed to become the 51st state, then it would be the first state with a majority Black population. D.C. has a population that is 46% Black; a majority of residents are non-white. Over the past year, support for D.C. becoming a state has increased after more have become aware of D.C not being able to control its own National Guard during events like the police killing of George Floyd.

A March poll by the think tank, Data for Progress, and the progressive advocacy coalition, Democracy, showed that 54% of likely voters think D.C. should be a state. However, the battle to have D.C. become a state isn’t a new concept as it has been around since the existence of the U.S. 

Even with the support of the Democratic community, there are a few Democratic senators who have still not decided to support this legislation. If it becomes a state, Washington, D.C. would be the smallest state geographically. Some supporters believe that the filibuster, a procedure that may allow members of the Senate to delay or cancel the decision, should be removed. If removed, bills can advance with a simple majority, including the one deciding the fate of D.C.’s status.


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