News & Politics

Here Are The Democrats Who Haven’t Co-Sponsored the DC Statehood Bill

Image via iStock.

Last week, Delaware Senator Tom Carper re-introduced a DC statehood bill to the Senate. The bill is highly unlikely to go anywhere without filibuster reform, as it would need 60 votes to pass and there’s currently no public Senate GOP support. However, it’s another big step towards potential representation for the District.  Should the filibuster be eliminated, the measure would only need a simple majority (which the Democrats currently have) to pass.

The Congressional politics of DC statehood have changed a bit over the years. Not long ago, it was presented primarily as a civil rights issue—the unfinished business of the civil rights movement, a majority-Black city denied equal rights. Though the District’s demographics have changed, that argument about basic fairness remains part of the mix. But recently, a more blunt partisan argument has come to the fore: Statehood for DC (and Puerto Rico, for that matter) are a way of getting more Democrats into a Senate that is egregiously stacked in favor of rural, Republican-dominated states, some with smaller populations than DC’s. This may help explain why Democratic legislators from neighboring states, who once resisted statehood since it might lead to commuter taxes on their constituents, have embraced the cause.

But not every Senate Democrat is on board, which means the measure may not even be able to get a simple majority in the 50-50 Senate. As of now, the bill only has 39 co-sponsors.

DC Shadow Senator Paul Strauss provided some information about who isn’t co-sponsoring the bill and why.

Angus King (ME): Not currently a co-sponsor, hasn’t supported similar legislation in the past

Kyrsten Sinema (AZ):Not currently a co-sponsor, hasn’t supported similar legislation in the past

Joe Manchin (WV):Not currently a co-sponsor, hasn’t supported similar legislation in the past

Jon Tester (MT): Not currently a co-sponsor, but was a co-sponsor on previous statehood legislation.

Jeanne Shaheen (NH): Not currently a co-sponsor, but was a co-sponsor on previous statehood legislation.

Jon Ossoff (GA): Not currently a co-sponsor, but has expressed support for DC statehood and is likely to join.

Raphael Warnock (GA): Not currently a co-sponsor, but has expressed support for DC statehood and is likely to join.

John Hickenlooper (CO): Not currently a co-sponsor, but expressed support for DC statehood during his presidential campaign.

Mark Kelly (AZ): Not currently a co-sponsor, hasn’t made a definitive statement about his position on DC statehood.

Ben Ray Luján (NM): Not currently a co-sponsor, was a co-sponsor as a Representative.

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.