A bill to make D.C. the 51st state has been introduced to the Senate with significant support from Democrats.
Delaware Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat, said Wednesday that he reintroduced the Washington, D.C., Admission Act to the U.S. Senate with a record number of cosponsors.
“We must use our voices to call out this historic injustice and right this wrong. I am hopeful that we can come together to do just that this Congress,” Carper said in a statement.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser thanked Carper, saying statehood cannot wait and there are promising signs that the District's 700,000 residents could soon have voting representation in Congress.
H.R. 51, the House of Representative’s matching legislation, was reintroduced to the 117th Congress earlier this year by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. It calls for non-federal areas of the city to be admitted to the union “on an equal footing with other states,” with two senators and one voting representative.
“There’s never been a time when statehood for the District was more likely,” Norton said in a press release.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, have committed to bringing statehood up for another vote on the House floor, Norton said.
In June, the House passed a D.C. statehood bill for the first time in history, but the effort stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Norton says she’s optimistic. Democrats' support for statehood has grown and the party has a majority in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote. President Joe Biden has also voiced support.
However, Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have strongly opposed past statehood efforts, and the Senate bill could face a filibuster.