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Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware has reintroduced a bill that would transform the District of Columbia into the nation’s 51st state.

Carper is a Democrat and a longtime supporter of statehood for the District. His bill would shrink Washington, D.C., to a small enclave including the White House, the Capitol and the National Mall. The rest of the nation’s capital would become the "State of New Columbia."

Last fall, Carper held the first Congressional hearing on statehood for the District in more than 20 years. But the bill didn’t make it to the Senate floor for a vote and had no chance of being taken up by the Republican-led House.

This year, the bill has 17 co-sponsors in the Senate, which Carper says is a record.