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Democrats Introduce Bill to Create 51st State

'There’s never been a time when statehood for the District was more likely'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2021 5:40 PM CST

(Newser) – "There’s never been a time when statehood for the District was more likely," Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said Wednesday after reintroducing a bill for statehood for Washington, DC in the House. Holmes, a Democrat, is DC's only representative in Congress and since the district isn't a state, she doesn't have voting rights. The bill, which passed a House vote last year, was also introduced by Senate Democrats led by Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the Hill reports. It would give DC—which has 700,000 residents, more than Vermont or Wyoming—full representation in Congress and authority on local issues.

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Norton said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has committed to bringing statehood up for another vote. President Biden has voiced support for statehood, but unless Democrats end the filibuster, the legislation has no chance of passing the Senate, NBC reports. The district is heavily Democratic—Biden took 92% of the vote in November—so the Senate's 50 Democrats would be unlikely to get 10 Republicans to vote in favor of statehood. Advocates including Carper, however, say the issue of fair representation for DC should not be partisan. They also note that if DC was a state with the power to activate its National Guard, there might have been a faster response to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. (Read more Washington, DC stories.)

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