With the support of Joe Biden, who is loyal to Congress control, the Democrats on Monday intensified their campaign to give state status to the federal capital, Washington, aimed at upsetting the balance of power in the United States.
“Democrats are in charge of the House, Senate and White House. We are never close to the state for Washington,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the city in the House of Commons. Delegates during the much-anticipated trial.
Since the federal capital is not a state, this Member of Parliament has only the status of observer and cannot vote in Congress.
Including lessons directly related to the electorate, such as those discussed in committee Monday: a bill to make Washington the 51st American state.
Democrats have condemned the violation of the fundamental rights of its inhabitants, and dissatisfaction has also been recorded on official license plates in Washington: “tax without representation” (taxes without elected officials).
Its more than 700,000 residents pay their federal taxes – more than one person in any other American state, Democrats insist – drafted under the banner and can vote in the presidential election. But they have no voice in Congress.
In June 2020, the House passed a bill to grant Washington state status. Historically at first only thanks to Democrat votes. And remains a dead letter in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.
By becoming a state, Washington would have two senators and one representative to vote in the House.
The city is likely to overwhelm Republicans as it has a large Democratic majority: 92% of its residents voted for Joe Biden in November.
“This hearing has only one goal: to create two new Democratic seats in the Senate,” elected Republican James Comer said during the hearing.
Republicans recall that the specific status of the “District of Columbia” was segregated because it had positions of federal authority, to be “unaffected by a state.”
When the United States was created in the 18th century, the “founding fathers” actually wanted to establish a federal government position outside the first 13 states to avoid conflict. The constitution was therefore directly linked to the central power to form a “district” in 1790.
It is because of this special status that Washington residents are elected officials who vote in Congress.
“Suppress” the vote of African Americans
For the powerful civil rights organization ACLU, Washington’s loss of a voice in Congress is tantamount to “suppressing the political power of blacks” because 46% of its population is African-American.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city’s legislation is essentially “developing and thriving, from racist attempts to undermine the black city”, by preventing it from voting in Congress.
Washington is “the state with the highest percentage of blacks in the country,” Democrat Ayana Presley said during the trial.
Elected officials have been fighting for decades to give Washington state status.
But “there is real support for this effort now,” Democrat Caroline Maloney, who was elected to preside over the talks, announced during the trial.
A poll conducted by the Center for Data for Progress in February found that the vast majority (54%) of American voters believe Washington should become a state, at a record level.
Democratic President Joe Biden is backing the move because he believes its inhabitants “need to be represented.”
According to Eleanor Holmes Norton, approval of the new bill has been “guaranteed” in the Democrat-controlled House, although a date has not yet been set. However, his passage in the Senate seems complicated.
Democrats have a very narrow majority, but ten Republicans are needed to pass a vote on this text.