A group of Senate Democrats led by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., reintroduced a bill that would give Washington, D.C. statehood on Wednesday.
The bill, which was first introduced in 2013, would give citizens of the District full authority over local issues, as well as grant them full representation in Congress.
“This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; it’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation for D.C. residents is clearly inconsistent with the values on which this country was founded,” Carper said in a statement.
— Senator Tom Carper (@SenatorCarper) January 27, 2021
Republicans have argued Democrats’ push to make D.C. a state is really just a ploy to gain more Democratic representation in Congress.
They have also pointed out that making D.C. a state would violate the 23rd Amendment, which gives D.C. residents the right to vote in presidential elections, but limits their say to “as much as the least populous state.”
In order for the bill to pass, Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to support it.
But GOP Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-SD, proposed his own solution in the House this week: the Maryland Reunion Act, which would revert the majority of Washington D.C. to the state of Maryland.
“The District of Columbia–Maryland Reunion Act kills two birds with one stone,” Johnson said in a statement.
“It removes the need for D.C. statehood, while also providing representation to individuals living in the district by merging the suburbs with Maryland,” he continued. “This proposal isn’t out of the question, Congress has done it before in 1847 when large parts of D.C. were returned to Virginia. My proposal accomplishes the goal of representation without creating a 51st state—that’s compromise.”