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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

White House Officially Offers ‘Long Overdue’ Support for DC Statehood

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Kuldeep Singh
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The White House on Tuesday officially supported its authorization of legislation that would institute statehood for Washington, D.C., providing full representation to the district’s 700,000 full-time residents. 

The House is programmed to vote this week on the Washington D.C. Admission Act, or H.R. 51, following its passage in the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week.  In its formal announcement on administration policy, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) noted that statehood for the district “will make our Union stronger and more just.”

Washington, D.C. has a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy, 

the official added.

President Joe Biden has previously shown his personal support for Washington, D.C. statehood; according to Forbes, the OMB’s statement is the first example in which the executive branch has officially favored the effort. 

H.R. 51 was passed by the Oversight and Reform Committee in a party-line vote of 25-19. Republicans argued on Tuesday that the district should not be established as a state because it “wouldn’t even qualify as a singular congressional district”—even though both Vermont and Wyoming have smaller populations than Washington, D.C.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who represents Washington, D.C. in the House but cannot vote on final legislation, thanked the White House for its support of H.R. 51, which she introduced in the House last year.

“Thank you to the Biden administration for today’s statement supporting H.R. 51,” Norton said.

The residents of our nation’s capital deserve voting representation in Congress and full local self-government, and with Thursday’s House vote and expected passage, along with Democratic control of the Senate and White House, we have never been closer to statehood.

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