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House approves bill to recognize Washington DC as 51st state

Washington- The House of Representatives voted on Thursday for a bill recognizing Washington, DC as the 51st state, which is likely to fail in an evenly divided Senate. The bill passed the party’s policy with a 216-208 vote, without the Republicans voting in favor.

For supporters of the bill, DC is a civil rights issue. The area has a population of over 700,000, more than the population of Wyoming and Vermont. However, although each of these two states has two senators and representatives of the House of Representatives, DC does not have the right to vote in Congress. Eleanor Holmes Norton represents DC as a non-voting representative in Congress.

State supporters also point out that DC pays more federal taxes than 21 states and pays more per capita taxes than any state. 2019 IRS data.. The districts are also diverse, with a population of 46% black and the majority non-white. If approved, it will be the first state with a multi-black population.

The· legislationCreates the Douglass Federation of Washington, named after Frederick Douglass, with the title HR 51. It will give DC two US Senators and a voter in the House of Representatives, as in all other states. The bill also blocked the White House, the US Capitol, and the National Mall, leaving them under federal control as US government seats.

The House of Representatives approved the DC state bill last year with a 232-180 vote, but the Senate did not vote. The Senate was then managed by the Republican Party. Democrats currently have a majority of 50 seats, but most bills require 60 votes to move forward, and the bill is unlikely to get support from 10 Republicans. Senate leader Chuck Schumer has promised to submit a bill for voting, but motions to move the bill forward will almost certainly fail.

“Today’s victory was historic for both the residents of Washington, DC and the purpose of the state of Washington, DC,” Norton said in a statement after the bill was passed, and the state voted in the House of Representatives. He said this was the second time he had won.

Many DC state supporters are working with the Senate to eliminate filibuster. This allows a simple majority to take action. However, this requires support from all 50 Democrats in the Senate, and Vice President Kamala Harris will vote for a tiebreaker. Two Democrats say they don’t support it — except to ruin the outlook for HR51.

At a press conference on Wednesday promoting HR 51, Norton expressed confidence that the bill had an opportunity in the Senate and said he “believes that filibuster is on the way.”

The Senate “will make the right decision” when the bill is passed, said Steny Hoyer, leader of the House of Representatives, who appeared at a press conference on Wednesday.

“We believe in good policies for our country and want the Senate to act on behalf of the people,” Heuer said.

Senator Democrat Introduced companion bill January House Bill with 44 co-sponsors in the Senate, including Schumer. However, it is unclear whether all Senate Democrats will support the state of DC, even if filibuster is eliminated. Two Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who oppose eliminating filibuster, have not signed the Senate bill as co-sponsors. Democratic senators Jeanne Shaheen and Mark Kelly, as well as independent senators Angus King, who collude with the Democratic Party, have also withheld the bill.

Dr. Rabbi Perry, chairman of Howard University’s Department of Political Science and director of DC Voting, a state advocate, said in an interview with CBS News that many black families living in the area are here. Stated. For generations. Perry said many of Washington’s iconic federal buildings, such as the White House and the Houses of Parliament, were built by black workers and slaves, but descendants living in these workers’ districts said these ” It does not enjoy all the privileges represented by the “Democratic Beacon”. “

“They see the buildings built by blacks and by slaves and feel hope,” Perry said of the black residents of the district. “And when they wake up every day, they know they don’t have the same rights. [as other Americans].. “

Congress has exclusive jurisdiction over Washington. That is, local legislation, including the DC budget, must be approved by Congress. This can have controversial side effects when DC residents make decisions that have been blocked or overturned by Congress. DC voters approved Initiative 71 in 2014. This allows adults to grow, own, and donate marijuana. However, Congress blocked the district from permitting the sale of marijuana by attaching a rider to the DC budget to prevent the use of funds to legalize or regulate the sale of cannabis. ..

The DC state of mind is becoming more popular nationwide. Data for Progress and Progressive Advocacy Simultaneous Democracy with all actions in 2021 First shared with CBS News It turns out that 54% of voters think DC should be a state.

Proponents also point out the January 6 attack on the US Capitol as a reason the district should be recognized as a state. Unlike other National Guard units, the DC National Guard is not under local control and can only be mobilized by the White House. Lawmakers are wondering why it took so long for the National Guard to act during the National Guard raid on January 6. If Washington DC had been given local control of the National Guard, the National Guard might have been deployed earlier.

The battle for DC is nothing new. Since the country was founded, the two parties have led prosecutions at different times. However, the modern battle for the nation is led by the Democratic Party. The district is very democratic — 92% of its inhabitants supported President Biden in the 2020 elections.

The district’s partisan balance is primarily why recognizing DC as a state has attracted so much opposition from the Republicans. If recognized as a state, two senators and one DC representative are likely to be Democrats, further balancing Congress in favor of Democrats.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was one of DC’s loudest opponents, calling it “Full Bore Socialism” in 2019. In his speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention, McConnell insisted that Democrats want to admit the DC he called “the swamp itself” in order to impose their agenda.

“There are two more liberal senators, and the damage they have done is irreversible,” McConnell said.

The House Republican Party also opposes recognizing DC as a state. “DC is an important part of the radical left-wing agenda for reforming the United States,” ranking member James Comer said at a hearing on the bill last month.

The bill is not expected to win Republican votes in the House of Representatives.House Oversight Committee Advance the bill Last week, with a 25-19 vote, entirely in line with party policy.

In a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Schumer said the debate against the state of DC was motivated by “prejudice” given the diversity of the district.

“It’s implying that the lives, professions, and rights of Washington, DC residents are somehow less than other citizens, in more realistic, unquoted, and most often more white areas. You don’t have to remind your colleagues that it’s surprisingly inappropriate. Country. ” “Everyone knows that the minority opposes the state of DC because they are afraid to give political power and representation to American citizens who may not vote for the Republican Party.”

Carolyn Maloney, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who helped vote on the bill, also argued in a speech on the floor prior to the vote that opposition to the state was rooted in partisanship.

“They want to deny the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of American citizens, rather than thinking that the new state representative could be a Democrat,” Maloney said. “They are willing to violate the core principles of our democracy just because the new state may elect representatives of another party,” he said.

Democratic Congressman Mondea Jones called the opposition to the state “racist trash” in a speech on the house floor prior to the vote on Thursday. After the turmoil from Republicans with this characterization, he voluntarily withdrew his words.

Some Republicans have proposed retreating the district to Maryland as a compromise. This would theoretically provide the district residents with a voting representative for the House of Representatives, but would not add two new senators. Several Republicans in the House of Representatives supported the retreat in discussions over the bill prior to Thursday’s vote, and a bill was proposed to incorporate the district into Maryland.

However, this solution is not popular with the district and Maryland residents. Norton said in a statement about the February retreat that 86% of Washington, DC residents voted for the state in the 2016 referendum.

“The withdrawal would contradict that referendum vote and the pursuit of district self-determination,” Norton said. A referendum petition was sent to Congress, which took no action against it.

The retreat is also opposed by representatives of the Maryland State House.

“People in Washington, DC have made it very clear that they want self-determination, which seems to be democracy,” Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen told reporters Wednesday. Said.

State supporters argue that the partisan balance of the district should not be a factor in the decision. They believe that all Americans should be concerned that 700,000 compatriots do not have voting rights in Congress and should want state status for equal rights. I will.

“We’re not just talking about giving people rights because of what their descriptive features are, but because they’re also American, they deserve these rights. “There is,” Perry said.

House approves bill to recognize Washington DC as 51st state

Source link House approves bill to recognize Washington DC as 51st state

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