Carper Statement on House Vote for D.C. Statehood

House vote comes as Carper’s statehood bill gains unprecedented support with 44 cosponsors 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), released the following statement following a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R.  51, the House’s companion to Carper’s Washington, D.C. Admission Act (S.51). H.R. 51, which was introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, passed the House by a vote of 216-208.

“More than 240 years ago, our founding fathers’ rallying cry of “no taxation without representation” inspired the longest-running democratic experiment in history. But, today, we should all be ashamed that more than 700,000 tax-paying Americans continue to be denied the ability to fully participate in their democracy.

“Our nation’s capital is home to more than just a collection of monuments and museums. It is home to American families who go to work, start businesses, pay their federal taxes, serve in the military and are still denied a vote in Congress. In fact, currently, 11,000 D.C. residents are serving in the military and can be sent to fight a war that they had no say in fighting. At its most basic level, the issue of D.C. statehood is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It’s an issue about basic fairness and equal and full representation for all citizens. That’s why Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and I have been pushing to grant D.C. statehood for so many years and it’s why we will not give up.

“Today, thanks to Congresswoman Holmes Norton’s tenacity and relentless work, the House voted in favor of D.C. statehood, marking a significant step in our fight to give the residents of D.C. a voice and vote in Congress. I also want to thank Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Chairwoman Maloney for their support on getting this legislation to the House floor for a vote. Today is certainly a day for celebration, but tomorrow, the work continues to ensure we hold a hearing on S.51 and continue to build the support in the Senate needed to make D.C. statehood a reality. It’s past time we correct this historic injustice and give the residents of D.C. the full representation they deserve.”

Senator Carper has introduced D.C. statehood legislation every Congress since 2013, and his legislation now has a record 44 cosponsors.

Specifically, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (S. 51) would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state, finally give its citizens full representation in Congress, and also ensure that the citizens and elected leaders of the District of Columbia have full authority over local affairs, including crucial safety and security matters. The Washington, D.C. Admission Act (S.51) would also designate the areas surrounding the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the National Mall as the seat of the federal government. That area would inherit the name the “Capital” and remain under the control of Congress, as mandated by the Constitution.