Committee Takes Historic Vote To Pass D.C. Statehood Bill
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 11, 2020)—Today, the Committee on Oversight and Reform voted to pass landmark legislation to grant statehood to the people of the District of Columbia, paving the way for a historic vote on the House floor later this year.
“Today, our Committee took an extraordinary, once-in-a-generation step towards granting basic democratic rights to more than 700,000 Americans who live in the District of Columbia,” said Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney. “I look forward to working with House leadership to advance this legislation on the House floor, and I commend Congresswoman Norton for her tenacity and leadership on behalf of her constituents.”
“For such a historic achievement for the District of Columbia, the only message I can convey is gratitude,” said Congresswoman Norton. “Thank you, Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), for your extraordinarily skillful and patient leadership, always with fairness to both sides. Thank you, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who appeared at an earlier press conference with Chairwoman Maloney and me, for your longtime leadership on statehood, democracy, and legislation for the District. Thank you to our more than 220 cosponsors and Committee Members who stood with the disenfranchised people of the District today. Above all, thank you District residents for turning out in large numbers to once again demand equality in the Congress. We have only one last hill to climb in the House – onward to the House floor!”
This is the first time since 1993 that a committee of Congress has voted to pass the D.C. statehood bill. Neither the House nor Senate has ever passed the D.C. statehood bill.
The Committee held a hearing on the legislation at a high-profile hearing last September. The bill would create a new state known as the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth with two Senators and one House Member. The federal district would continue to include the White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, National Mall, and other federal properties adjacent to the National Mall.
At today’s markup, Committee Democrats defeated 15 amendments offered by Republicans to impose restrictions on the new state relating to guns, abortion, and a host of other issues that do not apply to other states.
Leader Hoyer has stated that he plans to bring the bill to the House floor this year.
The District pays more in federal taxes than 22 states.
The District pays more federal taxes per capita than any state.
The District has a larger population than two states.
The District has a higher per capita personal income than any state.
The District has a higher per capita gross domestic product than any state.
The District’s annual budget is bigger than 12 state budgets.
The District’s bond rating is better than 35 states.
Yet D.C. residents have no vote in Congress, and they cannot consent to the laws that govern them.
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.