January 27, 2021

Warner, Kaine & Colleagues Introduce Bill to Grant D.C. Statehood

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined Senator Tom Carper in re-introducing legislation to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state of the United States. The Washington, D.C. Admission Act would establish congressional boundaries for the 51st state and grant D.C. residents full congressional representation. The bill would also ensure that the citizens and elected leaders of the District of Columbia have full authority over local affairs, including crucial safety and security matters. Additionally, the legislation would 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.

“We are proud to cosponsor this piece of legislation recognizing D.C. as our nation’s 51st state,” said the Senators. “For too long, our neighbors in D.C. have been denied their civil rights and subject to taxation without proper representation.” 

In June 2020, federal agents and the U.S. military were deployed against Americans exercising their constitutional right to peacefully protest in the District of Columbia, specifically in Lafayette Square just north of the White House. And on January 6, 2021, when violent rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, it took hours to approve National Guard mobilization. There are 54 units that make up the National Guard: one for each state plus Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. However, of those 54 units, only the D.C. National Guard doesn’t fall under local control. Instead, the order to mobilize the D.C. National Guard must come from the White House, rather than the head of D.C. government.  

Also joining Senators Warner, Kaine, and Carper on the legislation are Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Del. Eleanor Norton Holmes (D-DC) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives with 202 original cosponsors. Last year, the companion bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Norton received a full vote in the House and passed by a vote of 232-180. District of Columbia residents have also voted overwhelmingly to petition the federal government to end this unjust situation by granting D.C. statehood. A November 2016 referendum approved a name, constitution, and boundaries for what would become the new state called Washington, Douglass Commonwealth (D.C.).

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