House Democrats hold first hearing on the issue in 25 years; senior Capitol Hill producer Chad Pergram reports.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced Tuesday that a bill calling to admit Washington, D.C., as the 51st state will be brought to the House floor for a vote next week.

The bill, appropriately numbered HR51, is sponsored by Democratic D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and co-sponsored by 224 members of Congress. Hoyer said it will go to the floor June 26.


“We are the only nation – free nation – in the world whose capital does not have voting members of their parliament,” Hoyer said during a press conference.

Hoyer cited recent events connected to coronavirus and George Floyd protests as examples for why he believes D.C. statehood is necessary.

“If D.C. were a state it could not be shortchanged as it was under the CARES Act, and its residents would be protected from the kind of civil rights violations we saw in Lafayette Square all for the purpose of a photo op,” Hoyer said, referencing the CARES Act’s treatment of D.C. as a territory instead of a state, as well as a clash between protesters and officers involving pepper balls and smoke canisters.

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice also argued, in a New York Times op-ed, that had D.C. been a state, President Trump would not have been able to send federal officials in to handle protesters.


Holmes Norton said D.C. statehood is personal for her because “three generations of my family have yet to attain rights other Americans take for granted,” going back to her great-grandfather Richard Holmes who escaped slavery, leaving a Virginia plantation and making it to Washington, D.C.

“A walk to freedom, but not to equal citizenship,” she said.

Holmes Norton, who noted that her bill already has enough co-sponsors for it to pass, lamented that residents of D.C. pay higher federal taxes per capita than the rest of the country.

“Statehood will put an end to our oldest slogan: taxation without representation.”

The bill calls for Washington, D.C., to be known as the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, after abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who lived there in the late 19th century — not to be confused with Washington state in the Pacific Northwest.

President Trump, who only received 4 percent of the votes from D.C. in the 2016 general election, rejected the notion of statehood in May, noting the effect it would have on Congress. Washington, D.C., currently has a larger population than both Wyoming and Vermont.

“D.C. will never be a state,” Trump told The New York Post. “Why? So we can have two more Democratic … senators and five more congressmen? No thank you. That’ll never happen.”

In her current role as D.C.’s sole delegate, Holmes Norton is able to serve on committees, but she cannot participate in final votes on any legislation.

Fox News’ Charles Creitz contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Police officer buys groceries for women accused of shoplifting

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on A Somerset, Mass., police officer bought groceries for two women accused of shoplifting five days before Christmas. Officer Matt Lima was dispatched to a local Stop &…

GOP Senate campaign arm hammers Dem candidates over treatment of Tara Reade allegation

Biden accuser Tara Reade was charged with check fraud days before leaving his office in 1993, Jacqui Heinrich reports. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, an organization dedicated to growing and protecting the GOP majority in the Senate, has started hammering…

Rail franchising has hit the buffers. The question is, what replaces it?

Rail franchising is being suspended “for a limited period, initially six months,” said the Department for Transport. Are you sure? It seems more likely the whole franchising model, as understood since privatisation in the 1990s, is now finished for good.…

South Dakota Gov. Noem: Al Gore got his day in court — Trump deserves the same consideration

Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas joins ‘Fox & Friends’ with the latest. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem urged the country to “afford the 70.6 million Americans that voted for President Trump the same consideration” provided to former vice president Al Gore in the…