Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norten, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress, forwarded legislation Wednesday to transform the city from a district into a state.
“All that’s left to us, if we want the same birthright that every other American has, is statehood. So, we introduce this bill, we petition the Congress in the 216th year of the fight for equal treatment in our country,” Norton said, according to NBC Washington.
Norton’s Washington, D.C., Admission Act, which she’s introduced every year since she’s served as delegate, has 118 Democratic co-sponsors. If passed, it would turn D.C. into a state with two senators and a representative.
Joining Norton was D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who also petitioned Congress separately to allow D.C. the same rights as any other state.
“We’re 681,000 people. We’re tax-paying American citizens. We send our residents to war. We pay more taxes than 22 states. And we’re larger than two of them,” Bowser said.
But despite support from the Democrats, Norton doesn’t expect Republicans to get on board with the idea any time soon.
“They have a party line view on statehood,” Norton said. “It’s very harsh and it is getting harsher.”
Republicans not only are uninterested in granting D.C. statehood, but they have also tried to intervene more aggressively in local affairs.
GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, attempted to put a stop to a local bill allowing physician-assisted suicide. The Senate, however, is not nearly as interested in interfering in D.C. matters as is the House.
Chaffetz has also said he wants to block D.C. from using public funds to prevent deportation of illegals.
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