The bill, symbolically named HR 51, is currently headed the Senate, where proponents hope to destroy new foundations, including the first trial in that chamber.
Charles E. Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, pledged on Tuesday: “We will try to find a way to get it. [statehood] It’s done. ”And the White House asked Congress to make a policy statement to pass the law as quickly as possible.
But the political possibilities remain grim, with a Senate committee seeking the support of 60 senators to pass the bill. The Republican, who has 50 seats, has branded the bill as the Poverty of Democratic powers because it will create two Senate seats for the dark blue city. Even the Senate Democrats have not supported the bill as the clock moves towards the 2022 midterm elections.
Still, unprecedented support from Democrats across the country, including in the White House, has made supporters powerful.
“We had an unprecedented moment for the state movement,” said Josh Burch, co-founder of Neighbors United for DC Statehood. “We can pat ourselves on the back and celebrate the council vote, and we should. But that has to be in the short term because we have a lot of work to make this a reality in the next half year. ”
The House passed the first statewide bill last year without a Republican vote. Since then, ongoing racial justice protests and a broader democratic focus on the right to vote after the 2020 election have raised the cause. Leading their support as far as Arizona and Alaska, groups such as 51 for 51 and undivided do not describe a city with large numbers of black citizens living in the nation’s capital, not listed in the country’s law.
Norton said this year’s vote is more important than last year as awareness of the district’s situation appears to be on the rise. “It’s starting to excite the country now,” she said in an interview. Earlier this week
HR 51 will shrink the federal district into a two-mile rectangular enclave, including federal buildings such as the City Hall and the White House. The remainder of the residential and commercial space will become Washington State Commonwealth of Douglas in honor of the abolitionist Frederick Douglas.
The unity of Democrats in the state law bill – the only MPs who voted against last year and had more than 200 supporters this year – has made an extraordinary evolution. It was complete since the first ballot in 1993 when most Democrats. Join the Republicans in the 1st ballot.
Even 10 years ago Norton launched a state law bill with zero traditional sponsorships, Burch remembers walking into a lobbying house’s office building to find the first few.
With the battle shifting to the Senate, supporters and city leaders have made DC presence as an issue of racial justice and civil rights – “it may be the most pressing voting rights issue in the country. Our time, ”says 51 of 51 Director Stasha Rhodes.
Many proponents have direct similarities between the state’s Republican efforts to enact tougher laws to restrict voting and the federal Republican resistance to statehood. Both resulted in fewer people reaching franchises – more than 712,000 people in DC, according to Census Bureau estimates, 46 percent are black.
Advocates often point out that the district – once nicknamed the Chocolate City due to its booming black culture and population – has the largest percentage of African-Americans in every state.
“There is a lot of lip service on how we can advance racial justice in our country,” Rhodes said. “The real way to move the needle is structural democratic reform. There is no better step to the initiation of the DC state. ”
Norton told colleagues before the vote that they had. “Moral obligation” to pass the bill “This Congress, with Democrats in control, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House, DC’s statehood is within reach for the first time in history,” she said. On thursday morning
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) made racial justice a central focus of her testimony in support of HR 51 before the Board of Governance and Reform committee last month, her senior advisor, Beverly Perry. It said in an interview that educating senators across the political spectrum about the role of racism in the past in DC’s disqualification has become an integral part of a strategy to gain support.
“When you look at the history of why this situation is, it is based on racism. There’s nothing you can do but fix it, ”Perry said.“ At some point… we have to stop being partisan when it comes to race issues. ”
Republicans loudly rejected the civil rights argument, saying Democrats wanted DC’s statehood only to help develop a liberal wish list in the Senate, including the New Green Deal and the containment of the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, home minority Steve Scalise (R-La.) Released a record called DC statehood unconstitutional, questioning the city’s financial health and seizing crime statistics and related scandals. With former city officials to argue that the district does not deserve status
“Democrats who drive DC state are irresponsible and show what the founding fathers tried to protect when forming a federal seat,” Scalise wrote.
Republican senators from less populous states are concerned that the DC state will “dilute” state power, as Sen. Steve Danes (Mont.) Said this week. Some Republicans, such as Sen. Lindsay O. Graham (SC), said they wanted DC to go back to Maryland, where Maryland had no support.
Others, such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who was born in Alaska during a state bid, have not disclosed their location. But supporters will be hard to find Republican allies. The hope of finding a way through the bill Allegedly, with support from democracy fell this month when Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) said he would resist all efforts to eliminate or weaken the opposition.
Sen. Thomas R. Carper’s (D-Del.), A supporter of the Senate bill, said he would, however, ask Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), The chairman of the National Security Commission, to Rus and Senate Public Affairs Judicial Timings In legislation as soon as possible this spring Carper said he was lobbying with the Democrats to support the bill, with only Manchin and Sens, Angus King (I-Maine) and Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, both of Arizona outstanding.
Sinema’s seat on Peters’ equal-divided committee earned her Linchpin’s vote. When asked about the senator’s position on statehood, a spokeswoman said Sinema “didn’t look at the votes”.
Carper is seeking advice from a longtime friend, former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), A independent Democrat, proposed the Senate Tenure Bill for the first time in 2012, although two weeks before his retirement.
“When he left the Senate, one of the things we talked about was the DC legislation. And he urged me to pick up the baton and continue the legal action, ”Carper said, adding that he hopes to bring Lieberman as a witness in support of the state as he is respected by the two. Side of the corridor
“He’s a very religious man and the golden rule of all religions … is treating people the way you want them to be,” said Carper. “For him, the idea of taxing without representation is just a violation of admonition. that”
When asked Wednesday by reporters if Lieberman could help change the minds of Republicans, Lieberman’s longtime friend Graham said: “The chances are zero.”
Norton said she remained hopeful that the Senate would seek to seize the majority and President Biden’s support to pass as a state. But she admits that it could take years.
“A bill, as unusual as this one, often takes more than a session or two to pass,” she said, “so we don’t give up.”
Burch, a longtime advocate of state government, knows how to feel.
Asked how he would celebrate the House vote on Thursday, he said “by sending a lot of emails and disrupting the Senate office”.