Norton Announces Details of House Hearing on D.C. Statehood Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced today that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform (COR) will hold a hearing on her District of Columbia statehood bill (H.R. 51) on March 11, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, a representative from the office of the D.C Chief Financial Officer, Congressional Research Service Legislative Attorney Mainon Schwartz, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Interim President Wade Henderson and D.C. veteran Harry Wingo are expected to testify. Norton thanked COR Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) for her leadership on D.C. statehood and for prioritizing the bill early in this session of Congress.
“The hearing, markup and House passage of H.R. 51 last Congress propelled public support for D.C. statehood to nearly 50%,” Norton said. “There has been no better vehicle for educating the public and increasing support than passage of the D.C. statehood bill last June. We expect the March hearing to bolster support nationwide even further. Thank you, Chairwoman Maloney, for your leadership and for working with me to schedule this hearing early in the 117th Congress.
Norton’s bill has 212 cosponsors. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) have announced they will bring the bill to the House floor this Congress. Last year, the House passed the bill, which was the first time in history a chamber had passed the D.C. statehood bill. The Senate version of the bill (S. 51), sponsored by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), has 39 cosponsors, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“I applaud Congresswoman Holmes Norton for her fierce leadership and tenacity in the fight to secure congressional voting rights and local self-government D.C. residents rightfully deserve,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “The fact that more than half a million Americans living in the District of Columbia are denied representation in Congress is a historic wrong that flies in the face of the democratic values on which our nation was founded. This hearing will make that clear.”
“Statehood for the residents of the District of Columbia is one of the most important civil rights issues facing our nation today, and it is long past time that the over 700,000 citizens of DC receive equal representation under the law,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “DC residents have been denied critical COVID-19 emergency funding based solely on where they live and, at the same time, experienced a violent insurrection incited by former President Trump which resulted in the need for thousands of National Guard troops to move into the city and erect burdensome security measures. Granting citizens of the District statehood would ensure that the families who call DC home have the respect and full representation they deserve. I thank Congresswoman Holmes Norton for her faithful advocacy on this issue over the years. I look forward to working alongside her, our colleagues in the Senate, and President Joe Biden to make statehood a reality.”
“We thank Chairwoman Maloney for this essential hearing to put the voices and faces of DC’s 712,000 disenfranchised residents at the forefront of the 117th Congress,” said Mayor Bowser. “In 2019, we came before this Committee for the first time in nearly three decades and made an irrefutable moral and constitutional case for statehood. Now, coming off of last year’s historic House passage of HR 51, and with the support of Americans nationwide, we are even more united, organized, and prepared to demand DC statehood now for the generations of Washingtonians who have waited far too long for full and equal citizenship.”
“The District’s residents deserve the same rights and privileges as those of the 50 states,” said D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. “We hope this hearing begins a new chapter in the story of DC statehood.”