Washington, D.C.’s 700,000 residents would finally get full representation under new Senate bill

Washington, D.C.’s 700,000 residents would finally get full representation under new Senate bill

The over 700,000 residents of Washington, D.C., are denied full participation and representation in U.S. democracy. But the momentum to change that by granting the District statehood continues to grow, and on Wednesday, Sen. Tom Carper introduced a statehood bill with 38 original cosponsors—a record. Forty-six Democratic senators have indicated support for statehood, and even Sen. Joe Manchin has recently indicated that he might possibly be open to it.

“Our nation’s capital is home to more than 700,000 Americans who, despite our nation’s founding mantra—‘no taxation without representation’—pay their share of taxes without full voting representation in either chamber of Congress,” Carper said in a statement. “In fact, despite paying more in federal taxes per capita than citizens of any of the 50 states, D.C. residents have no say in how those taxes are actually spent. This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; it’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation for D.C. residents is clearly inconsistent with the values on which this country was founded.”

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The District of Columbia has more residents than either Vermont or Wyoming, each of which get one House member and two senators, while the District lacks full voting representation. Last year, the House voted for statehood, the first time either chamber of Congress had done so. The growth in support for statehood comes in part because of the use of federal agents and the military against Black Lives Matter protesters in the District last summer—without local control, the District is at the mercy of the federal government. The attack on the Capitol underlined that again, when local officials had to wait for the federal government to okay a National Guard deployment.

The Senate bill “would also designate the areas surrounding the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the National Mall as the seat of the federal government. That area would inherit the name the ‘Capital’ and remain under the control of Congress, as mandated by the Constitution.”

Republicans, of course, have reason to fear statehood for D.C., since it would chip away at their ability to use minority rule to get their way. Keeping 700,000 people from being represented in Congress suits their partisan priorities.


From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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