WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee officially announced a hearing next week on U.S. Senator Tom Carper’s (D-Del.) legislation to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., S. 51 – the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. Carper’s D.C. statehood bill this Congress boasts 45 cosponsors, a record number, and Carper has introduced this measure every Congress since 2013.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Washington, D.C.’s Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, who led the legislation to passage through the House of Representatives will provide introductory remarks at the hearing, followed by former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
“I am proud that HSGAC has scheduled a hearing on this crucial legislation that would finally right this longstanding wrong,” said Carper. “I look forward to hearing from elected D.C. representatives and other experts on the 22nd about the need to deliver a voice and a vote in Congress to the nearly 700,000 Americans who call the District of Columbia home. With support from the House, White House and a record amount of cosponsors in the Senate, I am more confident than ever that we can make D.C. statehood a reality this Congress.”
“All Americans deserve equal voices and rights in our democratic republic. Unfortunately, more than 700,000 residents of Washington, D.C. – who pay taxes, serve in the military and work for the American people – do not have an equal say in the laws and decisions that govern them,” said Peters. “I’m looking forward to hearing from experts on why D.C. statehood is essential and how lawmakers can work to finally give D.C. residents the same representation in Congress as their fellow Americans.”
“The Senate hearing shows that momentum continues to build for the D.C. statehood bill,” said Holmes Norton. “D.C. statehood now has 54% support nationwide, according to the most recent detailed poll, and I expect that support to grow even more after the Senate hearing, as it has after the House hearings. As only the second Senate hearing ever on D.C. statehood, next week will be historic. Thank you to Chairman Peters for scheduling this hearing and to Senator Carper for his strong and fruitful leadership on D.C. statehood.”
The hearing will feature the following witnesses:
· Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia;
· Richard Primus, Theodore J. St. Antoine Collegiate Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School;
· Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League;
· Professor Derek T. Muller, Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law; and
· Professor Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, The Cato Institute.
The committee will hear testimony from the Mayor of Washington, D.C., policy, legal and civil rights experts on legislation that would admit Washington, D.C. as the 51st state. Making D.C. a state would give residents full representation in Congress and give residents and local elected officials full authority over local affairs, including crucial safety and security matters. The Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which has already passed the House of Representatives, 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.