Chairwoman Maloney Speaks on House Floor in Support of Historic D.C. Statehood Bill
Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act.
The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Norton in January 2019, would admit the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth into the Union as a state consisting of most of the territory of the present-day District of Columbia.
In February, Chairwoman Maloney held the Committee’s historic markup of the legislation—the first on a D.C. statehood bill in more than 25 years—and the Committee voted to pass the landmark legislation and pave the way for today’s vote on the House floor.
Last year, the Committee held a hearing on the bill, featuring testimony from Mayor Muriel Bowser and others.
Below are Chairwoman Maloney’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney
H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act
June 26, 2020
I thank the Gentlewoman from the District of Columbia and my friend, Congresswoman Norton, for her years of leadership on this bill. She is not only the author of this bill, but of this historic day for our democracy.
For the first time in a generation, the House will vote today on whether hundreds of thousands of American citizens will finally have their voices counted in Congress.
We will vote to honor the most fundamental principles of this nation—and for which a Revolution was launched—no taxation without representation, and consent of the governed.
I can think of no more honorable or patriotic endeavor than taking up this legislation today to give the people of the District the same rights enjoyed by hundreds of millions of other Americans across our country.
The United States is a democracy, but its capital is not. The United States is the only democratic country that denies both voting rights in the national legislature and local self-government to the people of its capital.
That is wrong and violates everything we stand for as Americans.
The District pays more in federal taxes than 22 states, and more per capita than any state. Think about that. It pays more than nearly half the states in this country. Yet D.C. residents have no vote in Congress. That is wrong.
The people of the District have been fighting for equal rights for more than 200 years. In 2016, an overwhelming 86 percent of D.C. residents voted for statehood.
President Trump’s recent decision to deploy thousands of federal law enforcement officers in D.C. against residents peacefully exercising their constitutionally protected right to protest—without the consent of the District’s elected officials—demonstrated the urgent need for full local self-government and Congressional representation.
Unfortunately, so far, Republicans have opposed our efforts. And the President made clear exactly why.
They would rather deny voting rights for hundreds of thousands of American citizens than even consider the possibility that representatives from the new State could be Democrats.
Think about this argument. They are willing to violate the core principles of our democracy merely because they may be from a different political party.
This argument is anti-democratic and un-American. The questions for Republicans are these:
Do you truly believe in no taxation without representation?
Do you truly believe in states’ rights?
Do you truly believe the federal government should stay out of local affairs?
If you do, then join us. Act on those beliefs today.
I strongly urge every member to vote yes on H.R. 51, and yield back the balance of my time.