Legislation Would Ensure Equal Representation for over 700,000 D.C. Residents
Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and a group of Democratic senators introduced legislation to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state, finally giving its citizens full representation in Congress. The legislation 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. The Washington, D.C. Admission Act (S.51) 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.
"It betrays our values as a democracy to deny over 700,000 Americans representation because they live and work in our nation's capital,” said Bennet. “I’m happy to join my colleagues in introducing legislation to grant D.C. statehood. It's well past time D.C. residents have the representation every American deserves."
Last year, companion legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), finally 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 it statehood. A November 2016 referendum approved a name, constitution, and boundaries for what would become the new state called Washington, Douglass Commonwealth (D.C.)
In addition to Bennet, this legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jackey Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
The bill text is available HERE.