The US' 51st State: New Columbia?
Sen. Joe Lieberman introduces bill, but little time left to pass
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2012 7:50 AM CST
People visit the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, as negotiations on the fiscal cliff.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Is it time at last to create a 51st state? No, not Canada. Four senators introduced legislation yesterday to turn Washington, DC, into the state of "New Columbia," reports Buzzfeed. Federal buildings and the mall would remain under Congressional control, but the rest of the city would get to vote on becoming the first new state since Hawaii joined the Union in 1959.

"It is long past time to give those American citizens who have chosen the District of Columbia as their home the voice they deserve in our democracy," said retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman, who introduced the bill. Nice sentiments, perhaps, but with just two weeks remaining in the 112th Congress and the government completely enveloped in fiscal cliff negotiations, the bill has next to zero chance of being voted on, let alone passing, notes the Washington Post. Perhaps DC will have better luck in the 113th Congress.

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Comments
Showing 3 of 68 comments
artcar
Jul 29, 2013 6:04 PM CDT
I like it- 51st state , New Colombia. New Columbia has over a million resident citizens that are not represented , not allowed to vote . States like Idaho, Wyoming,Montana , with less population should be dissolved. Texas should sessed and become part of Mexic. Good riddence. In fact the Old confederacy can leave, and the rest of america can merge with Canada to become the United States of North America, all the Canadian provinces becoming separate states. The New Confederacy can restore slavery, fly the Confederate flag( they do it now anyway)declare Christianity the state religion , allow guns to be carried openly, print their own money and outlaw abortion. Oh, Puerto Rico becomes the 52nd state. Native Puerto Ricans are american citizens right now without the right to vote or be taxed.
OrdinaryMan
Dec 26, 2012 9:10 PM CST
A Constitutionally sound way for D.C. suffrage The population of DC was unforeseen by the Framers and, certainly, the size needed for the DC boundary in our 21st century was also unforeseen. Even though the federal government has grown in “size,” most of DC is not needed for a physical "plant" of government buildings, monuments, etc. This is self-evident since so much of DC is simply residential areas after 200+ years. Solution: Reshape and downsize the 68 square miles (8+ miles square) of the current boundary of DC. Then, “D.C" residents would instantly be Virginia or Maryland residents (maybe all Maryland) and instantly have their vote for Rep AND Senate! The US Constitution says the seat of the federal government would be a maximum of 100 square miles but didn't mention a minimum size. My speculation is that they erred on the side of larger because of sparse population and plentiful land at that time, coupled with their obvious inability to foresee the future “physical plant” needs of the new federal government. The Framers definitely wanted a piece of land (of any size less than 10 miles square) unencumbered by conflicts of interest with state or local governments. Many current ideas are Unconstitutional and Unnecessary. My constitutional suggestion is far better in that it gives DC residents full representation like every other American.
I_CLAUDIUS
Dec 22, 2012 1:18 AM CST
Augie Dog, you think the Senate is bad? Try the House. Of the 52 weeks this year, House members will be in session just 27!