Committee Votes to Pass H.R. 51, the Washington D.C. Admission Act
Washington, D.C. (Apr. 14, 2021)—Today, the Committee on Oversight and Reform voted to pass H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, introduced by Congresswoman Norton on January 4, 2021, to grant statehood to the people of the District of Columbia. The historic vote paves the way for the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 51.
“Statehood for D.C. is about equality, fairness, and ensuring that the dreams of our Founders are realized despite over 200 years of delayed justice,” Chairwoman Maloney said in her closing statement. “Our nation is founded upon the idea that all people should have a voice in their government. But without voting representation in Congress, the people of D.C. are denied that most basic right. I want to again thank Congresswoman Norton for her tireless advocacy to ensure that D.C. residents finally gain the full representation they deserve.”
“The Committee on Oversight and Reform voted to pass my D.C. statehood bill at today’s historic markup, only the second in Congress since 1993,” Congresswoman Norton said. “As we held a hearing on the bill just weeks ago, we learned that support for D.C. statehood in the latest poll had increased to 54% of Americans. Today’s committee passage will further serve to educate the millions of Americans who do not know that the Americans who live in their own nation’s capital do not have the same rights they have. I thank Chairwoman Maloney for her leadership and support on D.C. statehood and for prioritizing the bill early this Congress, paving the way for next week’s House floor vote and passage.”
The bill passed today by the Oversight Committee has 215 cosponsors, and an identical version was passed by the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress. A companion bill introduced by Senator Carper has 44 cosponsors.
Ahead of the Committee’s vote on this legislation, more than 120 groups supporting civil rights, federal workers, education, and the environment have endorsed this bill.
On March 22, 2021, the Committee held a hearing on H.R. 51. Witnesses testified that Congress has the constitutional authority to admit Washington, D.C. as a state and reduce the size of the federal district, and that Washington, D.C. meets the three prerequisites Congress has generally considered in admission decisions—commitment to democracy, support for statehood, and the population and resources to support itself.
Click here to read the bill.