WASHINGTON (AP) – A long-term bid to pass a law that would make the District of Columbia the 51st state a little longer on Friday.
Democratic Senator Joe Manshin of West Virginia said he opposed Congress’s unilateral action to make the nation’s capital a state and he believes it needs to be done through constitutional amendments. He said previous Republican and Democratic administrations thought the same.
“They all came to the same conclusion. If Congress wants DC to be a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment, ”Manchin said in an interview with the West Virginia MetroNews radio network.
Earlier this month, House approved the bill. It follows a strict party line to make the District of Columbia a state with one representative and two senators, while smaller estates, including the White House, the US Capitol and the National Mall, will remain federal districts.
The same statehood bill passed in 2020, but it died in the then Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with elections in 2020 that give Democrats control of both Congress and the White House, some have pushed for the elimination of the opposition so that only a majority in the Senate has to be released. The DC statehood bid law will be one of those initiatives that can be passed under such circumstances.
Still, the tactic would require total democratic unity, and a radio interview with Manchin on Friday once again showed they had no.
Manchin also made it clear he would not vote to eliminate or weaken the opposition. He is one of the few Democratic senators who have not publicly supported the DC initiative.
Republicans argued during a House vote that the measure could not resist the scrutiny of the court. Manchin said he would “tell his friends”; that if they were to take action by state law “. You know it has to go to the Supreme Court. “
“All legal scholars tell us so, why not do it the right way and have people vote and see if they need change,” Manchin said.
The amendment will not lead to the election. But proposals to amend the constitution must be approved by two-thirds of both Congresses, and then lawmakers in 38 states will have to ratify the language Congress adopted for the amendments to take effect.
DC has been in conflict for a long time under its ties to Congress, which has the power to veto or amend any local law.It has a population greater than Wyoming or Vermont and a population of about 690,000. Pay federal taxes, vote for the president, and serve in the armed forces. But they have no representative to vote in Congress.
Del Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s non-voting congressman, made no mention of Manchin by name in a statement her office released on Friday. But it was clearly intended to counteract his opinion.
“First of all, no new state is recognized by an amendment to the constitution,” Norton said. “All 37 new states have been recognized by Congress and have never had a successful constitutional challenge to recognize them. The constitution guarantees a decision to be admitted to Parliament Solely “
Campbell Wallace, spokesman for Sen. Tom Carper Didel and a supporter of the Senate state law bill, said the constitution does not prohibit Washington, D.C., it sets a procedure. The state admits, though, “and DC is now taking the same steps that 37 other states have been doing since 1791.”