(PresidentialWire.com)- Democrats are pushing for Washington, D.C., to become a state, and there’s no bigger proponent of the movement than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Speaking this week after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make D.C. the 51st state, Pelosi said the issue is “in my DNA.” She said this while holding a photo of her later father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
D’Alesandro was chair of the House appropriations subcommittee on DC in his time in Congress. He represented Maryland in Congress and was often referred to as the “unofficial mayor” of DC.
That subcommittee was re-named in 2007, but it still maintains jurisdiction over the city. As Pelosi said:
“He did not like that. He was a big believer of home rule. So, I often say that statehood for the District of Colombia is in my DNA.”
The issue of making DC a state has long been floated about Capitol Hill, but it’s taken on new relevance in recent months. With President Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats having a majority in both chambers of Congress — albeit a slight one — liberals are pushing for statehood again.
Unlike some times in the past, though, DC statehood has the backing of the president.
Defending the move to make DC a state, Pelosi said:
“These residents pay taxes, fight in our wars, power our economy, yet do not have a full voice in our democracy.”
The White House released a statement of its own following the bill’s passage in the House Wednesday. It said DC’s residents have been subject to “taxation without representation and denial of self-governance is an affront to the democratic values on which our nation was founded.
“Establishing the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state will make our Union stronger and more just. Washington DC has a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy.”
Since they are not a state, DC residents don’t have any representation in Congress, even though they pay federal taxes. That’s one of the main arguments from those pushing for statehood.
The other side, though, says that this move by Democrats isn’t about being fair. In fact, it’s about trying to push through statehood just so Democrats can get more representatives in Congress. DC is an extremely liberal city that would likely send two more Democrats to the Senate and some representatives to the House, too.
In a column written for The Washington Post Wednesday, George Will, a conservative columnist, wrote:
“San Francisco will never vote Republican but will do so before D.C. does. Does anyone believe that if D.C. were as incorrigibly Republican as it is Democratic, Democrats would favor D.C. statehood, which would mean two more Republican senators until the last trump shall sound?”
While the bill passed in the House, it’s likely to receive strong opposition from Republicans in the Senate, meaning it’s unlikely to go anywhere further.