Democrats in both chambers of Congress are advocating the implementation of statehood for the District of Columbia, via legislation. Republicans overwhelmingly oppose giving statehood to DC, arguing that the city does not merit representation by 2 United States Senators; both seats would undoubtedly be held by Democrats. Other Republicans, including a group of GOP Attorneys General, argue that granting statehood to DC legislatively is unconstitutional, while also pointing out that the Founding Fathers opposed statehood for the nation’s capital.
The House Rules Committee is set to take up HR 51, which would grant statehood to DC, once again this week. Republican Congressman James Comer (R-KY) criticized Congressional Democrats’ “power grab” in trying to pass the measure.
“This vote, this week on making Washington, D.C. the 51st state is about one thing: creating two new Democrat Senate seats. That’s all,” Comer argued. “At the end of the day, it’s all about a Democrat political power grab to create two new Democrat Senate seats so they [Democrats] can end the filibuster, and they can pass all the liberal, progressive legislation that Nancy Pelosi is forcing down the throats of the Democrats in the House.”
Even if passed by Speaker Pelosi’s slim majority in the House, the legislation is unlikely to garner support to overcome the 60-vote hurdle in the Senate. The House previously passed legislation recognizing DC statehood in the 116th Congress.