(RepublicanReport.com) – The idea of making Washington, DC a state is something that has been mulled over in the halls of power since America first became a nation. Currently, the district has a mayor and council directly overseen by the federal government. DC residents can also cast votes in US presidential races. But because it’s not a state, Washington, DC has no representation in Congress.
On Thursday, April 22, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 51 along strict party lines that would make Washington DC a fully-fledged state. Not one Republican voted in favor of the measure. This is the second time in the space of a year that a statehood proposal like this has passed the House, with a similar bill having died in the Senate last June. However, now that the chamber (along with the White House) is Democrat-controlled, statehood advocates feel they have a better chance of realizing their goals this time around.
Why Republicans Oppose the Push for Statehood
When the Founding Fathers designed the District of Columbia as the home of the federal government, they neglected to make it a state for good reasons. Chief among these is the fact Congress and the White House should treat all states equally. If they were to find themselves geographically located in a given state, they could come under pressure to give that state more favorable treatment.
Congressional Republicans have also suggested that this attempt to make Washington, DC a state has nothing to do with creating a fairer system; it’s simply a power grab by Democrats. The District of Columbia has a strong liberal voter base, which means it would almost certainly add two more Democrats to the Senate if it became a state.
This bill is unlikely to garner any Republican support in the Senate, and there are even a number of Democrats who may oppose it. Even if the bill can gather the support of a simple majority, the legislation is unlikely to find a way around the filibuster.
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