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Warner, Kaine, & Colleagues Introduce Bill to Grant Statehood to the District of Columbia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and other colleagues in introducing legislation to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state. The Washington, D.C. Admission Act would grant D.C. citizens 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 over the selection of judges to fill vacancies on D.C. courts, including the D.C. Court of Appeals, which has had one seat remain vacant for over nine years. 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 be the “Capital” and remain under the control of Congress, as mandated by the Constitution.

“Virginia’s neighbors in D.C. have been denied the right to representation for far too long,” said the Senators. “We’re glad to cosponsor this legislation recognizing D.C. as the 51st state and finally ending D.C.’s long history of taxation without representation.”

Last year, companion legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by Del. Eleanor Norton Holmes (D-DC) passed by a vote of 216-208. District of Columbia residents have also voted overwhelmingly to petition the federal government to grant D.C. statehood. A November 2016 referendum approved a name, constitution, and boundaries for a new state which would be called Washington, Douglass Commonwealth (D.C.).

Also joining Senators Warner, Kaine and Carper as original cosponsors on the Washington, D.C. Admission Act 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), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Fetterman (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Full text of the bill is available here.