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A senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has gone national with his support for statehood for the District of Columbia.
Local and regional politicians have been fighting for DC statehood for 30 years now, where a population greater than Wyoming or Vermont pays federal tax but has no voting representatives in Congress.
The House for the first time approved legislation last year which would make DC the Douglass Commonwealth, the nation’s 51st state.
Republicans have long opposed DC statehood because its residents are overwhelmingly Democratic.
However, this year, the unified control of the federal government under Democrats has given DC statehood advocates new hope.
Sen Tom Carper of Delaware introduced the latest DC statehood bill just a day after the Inauguration of President Biden.
And Rep Ted Lieu of California’s public support for statehood in a national TV appearance should help build vital public visibility and backing to what until now has largely been an issue most Americans have not been terribly familiar with.
“I fully support D.C. statehood. That is one great argument for D.C. statehood,” Lieu said, referring to the fact that Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had to wait for help from the National Guard in the midst of the deadly January 6 insurrection because she doesn’t have direct command over those troops — unlike state governors elsewhere.
“The other is simply equal protection for all. You shouldn’t be having people who have taxation without representation,” Lieu added. “So, I absolutely support D.C. statehood.”
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