Tags: DC | statehood | representation

Senate Holds Hearing on DC Statehood

By    |   Monday, 15 Sep 2014 09:06 PM

In a renewed push to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., a Senate hearing was held Monday for what some hope is the start of a process that will result in the creation of the 51st state.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee heard arguments for the measure, the first time such a meeting has taken place in 20 years.

Committee Chairman and Delaware Democrat Tom Carper introduced a bill last year that would form a new state, to be called New Columbia. He was one of several people who spoke at the hearing, a list that also included Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

"They bear the full responsibilities of funding the federal government and dealing with the consequences of the laws it enacts, but they do not enjoy the benefits and protection of having voting representation in our Congress," Carper said of the roughly 650,000 people who live in the District of Columbia.

Under Carper's proposal, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Patty Murray ,D-Wash., and Barbara Boxer ,D-Calif., most of the current Washington footprint would become known as New Columbia.

The White House, Capitol, Supreme Court, and the National Mall would remain a federal district called Washington, D.C., under Congress' control.

The last state to join the union was Hawaii, in 1959.

President Barack Obama said last month he would like to see the district become an official state.

"Folks in D.C. pay taxes like everybody else. They contribute to the overall well-being of the country like everybody else. They should be represented like everybody else," Obama said, according to The Hill.

"There has been a long movement to get D.C. statehood, and I've been for it for quite some time. The politics of it end up being difficult to get through Congress, but I think it's absolutely the right thing to do," Obama said.

After the 1973 Home Rule Act was passed, Washington was allowed to have an elected local government. But all laws passed in the district must make it through a congressional review lasting 60 days. Residents of the city participate in presidential elections and have a delegate in the U.S. House, but that person is not allowed to partake in final votes.

The district also has two shadow senators and one shadow representative for lobbying.

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In a renewed push to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., a federal hearing was held Monday for what some hope is the start of a process that will result in the creation of the 51st state. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs...
DC, statehood, representation
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2014-06-15
Monday, 15 Sep 2014 09:06 PM
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