“As we approach July 4th, it is long past time to apply the nation’s oldest slogan, ‘no taxation without representation’ and the principle of consent of the government to D.C. residents.”
DC congresswoman Eleanor Norton on today’s historic congressional vote on whether to make the District of Columbia the 51st state.
- In her opening remarks on her bill to grant the District of Columbia statehood, congresswoman Norton noted that D.C. residents pay more in federal taxes per capita than any state and more federal taxes than 22 states. The bill would maintain the existing capital district as federal land, but give DC voting power in Congress: one member to the House of Representatives and two in the Senate.
- DC is home to about 702,000 residents (a larger population than both Vermont and Wyoming). DC has NO votes in Congress: 1 non-voting delegate (House rep. Eleanor Norton since 1991) & 0 senators (no say on confirmation of cabinet members, federal judges, etc). DC residents have voted in presidential elections since 1964 (23rd amendment)
- The bill passed the Democrat-led House on Friday afternoon. Congresswoman Norton tweeted that bill’s passage marked “the first time since the creation of the District of Columbia 219 years ago that either chamber of Congress has passed a bill to grant statehood to D.C.“
- The bill is all but certain to fail in the GOP-controlled Senate. Opposing the bill, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said: “Washington is a city – with all the characteristics of a city – not a state. Washington doesn’t have the size or diversity of interest of even the smallest of the 50 states. Washington also doesn’t have the diversity of interests and financial independence that Madison explained were necessary for a well functioning state.”
- DID YOU KNOW? The last state admitted to the union was Hawaii, as our 50th state, in 1959. Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory following the Spanish-American War in 1898.