The District is one step closer to becoming a state…again. Earlier today, the House of Representatives passed DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s “Washington, DC Admission Act”—which would make DC the nation’s 51st state—for the second time in just over a year. If signed into law, the bill would rename DC as “Washington, Douglas Commonwealth,” and allocate DC residents two senators and one House representative (as it stands now, Norton’s vote doesn’t count).
Democrats overwhelmingly supported the bill, symbolically titled HR 51, citing racial justice and voting rights as reasons to admit DC as a state. But on the other side of the political aisle, Republicans claimed that Democrats are using statehood for majority-blue DC as a “power grab” to “take control of the federal government.” Today, each of the 216 pro-statehood votes came from Democrats.
HR 51 will have a tougher path in the Senate, which requires 60 senators—which would have to include some Republicans—to pass the legislation. In a 2016 referendum, 86 percent of DC residents voted in support of statehood.