- Why Is The Push For D.C. Statehood Gaining Traction?
- Why Wasn’T D.C. A State from The Beginning?
- What Will Happen If Washington, D.C. Becomes A State?
The movement to make Washington, D.C. a state has been gaining traction for a while. After all, Washington, D.C. is home to around 706,000 Americans who don’t get the perks that come with statehood. For instance, D.C. didn’t have any electoral votes until the passing of the 23rd Constitutional amendment in 1961. The presidential election of 1964 was the first time the residents of D.C. actually had an electoral say in who would end up in their White House. In Congress, D.C. has only a “shadow delegation,” representatives who sit in Congress but cannot vote. And yet it’s more populous than two actual states: Wyoming and Vermont. Though H.R. 51 is the first statehood bill to pass the House, delegates have been filing similar bills since 1993. But the disturbing response to Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C. in early June has brought the debate over D.C. statehood to the forefront. National Guard troops swarmed the streets, and Attorney General William Barr ordered the cle...
Well, America’s Founding Fathers decided, when they wrote the Constitution, that it was imperative that the center of government was not in a state. In America’s early post-Revolution days, it would see several different temporary centers of government, all of them northern cities like Philadelphia and New York. While drafting the Constitution in 1787, the Founding Fathers decided that the new nation should have a permanent capital. But they were reluctant to give that much power to one single state. So they wrote in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution that “[The Congress shall have Power] To exercise exclusive Legislation…over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may…become the Seat of the Government of the United States.” The article also stated that this 100-mile district would come from land ceded by the states so that the new seat of government would be independent of any state. Check out more facts about U.S. history you didn’t learn in school. But the locati...
Washington, D.C. would gaina member of the House of Representatives and two new senators. (The fact that those senators would likely be Democratic is a big reason House and Senate Republicans oppose statehood.) The mayor, Muriel Bowser, will have the title of “governor” instead. The land of the new state would be all of the current land of Washington, D.C., except for a “capital district” over which the federal government would continue to have control. This district would include the White House and the buildings and monuments surrounding the National Mall. Also, the capital would get a name change! Instead of standing for the District of Columbia, the “D.C.” will stand for “Douglass Commonwealth.” This pays homage to abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who lived there for 17 years. Next, check out some more surprising facts you never knew about Washington, D.C.
It has no governor or senators, and its representative has no vote in the House. George Washington appointed federal overseers to run Washington, D.C., in 1790. The District of Columbia is really considered a city, rather than a state. As such, it has a mayor rather than a governor. Originally, the city was run by federally-appointed overseers ...
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Jun 26, 2020 · Washington, D.C. isn't designated as a state so it currently doesn't have representation in Congress. Many Democrats want to change that.
May 01, 2021 · A decade as a state senator, four years as West Virginia Secretary of State, nearly six years as governor, and now more than 10 years as a U.S. Senator. ... DC Statehood now. https://t.co ...
Since the Senate operates with a requirement for a supermajority (60 senators) to enact legislation, Republicans can effectively block any moves by Democrats to make DC or Puerto Rico a state.
Sep 29, 2020 · With control of the Senate up for grabs, voters in the 50 states that currently have senators would have to ensure a sizable Democratic majority if the upper chamber is ever to join the House of Representatives in choosing to make DC a state. This article appears in the October 2020 issue of Washingtonian.
Links to biographical information, Senate service accomplishments, military service, awards and honors, and more for current and former senators. States in the Senate Lists of all senators from each state and facts about each state's history in the U.S. Senate.
- Why Isn’T D.C. A State?
- What’s Different About Living there?
- Who Wants to Make D.C. A State?
- What Would The New State Be called?
- What Else Would Change?
- Who Is Opposed and Why?
- Is A Compromise Possible?
- The Reference Shelf
The Constitution directed that the seat of U.S. government be a “District (not exceeding ten miles square)” over which Congress would “exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever.” The point of a special district, according to James Madison, was to prevent any particular state from holding too much power as a result of playing host to the national government. The capital was relocatedfrom Philadelphia to what was then called Washington City in 1800. Today, the 20th-largest city in the U.S. is interchangeably known as Washington, D.C., and the District of Columbia.
Thanks to a 1973 law approved by Congress, D.C. residents now elect a local government consisting of a mayor and council, but the laws they pass are subject to congressional review and can be overturned. Congress also has blocked the district’s use of funds to regulate legalized marijuana. The 23rd Amendment, ratified in 1961, gave Washington its first-ever say in presidential elections, though it ensures that no matter how its population grows, D.C. can’t have more electorsthan the least populous state (currently, three). The district is represented in the House by one delegate -- currently Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat -- who can introduce bills, vote on committees and speak on the floor but can’t vote on the final passage of legislation. The district has no representation in the Senate.
Norton, as D.C.’s sole voice on Capitol Hill, has introduced statehood legislation in every Congress since 1992. The latest is a bill known as H.R. 51, which passed the House with only Democratic support and is backed as well by President Joe Biden and by advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP. Statehood advocates note that the U.S. is the only democracy that denies voting rights in the national legislature to the residents of its capital. The Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol added fuel to the cause, since district leaders lacked the authority to mobilize National Guard troops, as state governors can.
Should it ever get that far, the 51st state couldn’t be called Washington, since that’s already the name of the state in the Pacific Northwest that spawned Starbucks Corp. and hosts Microsoft Corp. Norton’s bill proposes “State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth,” combining the names of the first U.S. president and the anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass.
The new state would elect two senators, increasing the membership of the Senate to 102, and one representative, bumping the House to 436. An area of about two square miles including the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, and other federal office buildings near the National Mall would remain a federal enclave called the Capital. Norton’s bill is silent on tweaking the American flag, but D.C. officials unveileda new design with 51 stars ahead of a statehood hearing in 2019.
Republican lawmakers have raised a range of objections. A major one is that unlike the federal territories that have become states through congressional action, changing Washington’s status should require an amendment to the Constitution. Georgia Republican Jody Hice said D.C. would be the only state without an airport, car dealership, or landfill. (Not true.) Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said Wyoming, with a smaller population than D.C., is more deserving of statehood because it’s a “well-rounded, working-class state.” The biggest fear among Republicans might be political, since statehood would surely increase the number of Democrats in Congress. Biden won 92% of the vote in the district in 2020. More than 76% of the district’s voters were registered Democratsas of March 2021, compared to less than 6% Republicans.
There was some movement toward bipartisanship in 2009 when the Senate passed legislation giving D.C. one House representative with voting powers, offset by the addition of a seat in heavily Republican Utah, raising the number of lawmakers in the House to 437. More than 60 senators, including six Republicans, voted in support at the time, but the bill was never taken up in the House.A Congressional Research Service summary of the D.C. statehood issue.A historyof D.C. home rule, from the D.C. Council.A Bloomberg CityLab storyon the push for D.C. statehood following the Jan. 6 attack.Bloomberg Government’s bill summaryof H.R. 51.
Wikimedia list article. Senate composition by state and party, 117th Congress. 2 Democrats. 2 Republicans. 1 Democrat and 1 Republican. 1 Democrat and 1 Independent caucusing with Democrats. 1 Republican and 1 Independent caucusing with Democrats. The United States Senate consists of 100 members, two from each of the 50 states. Below is a list ...