The House of Representatives is on course to vote Thursday to a bill that could grant statehood to Washington, DC, a Democratic priority which confronts barriers to closing passage in spite of the party presently in control of both chambers of Congress and the White House.
House Democrats passed the bill — H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act — final year at a historic vote which indicated the first time either chamber of Congress had progressed a DC statehood step. Nevertheless, it didn’t progress from the Senate, which has been commanded by a Republican majority in the moment.
Now Democrats are pushing for its passing. The law is expected to pass in the House but still face an uphill struggle in the Senate, in which it’s not likely to have enough Republican support to clean that a 60-vote threshold for passing.
“With HR 51, Congress is now taking a substantial step to enfranchise the people of DC and enable them to engage fully in our democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of this laws on Wednesday. “Again, we are excited that we’ll pass it. We’ll observe, and we expect that the momentum will allow it to pass into the Senate in order that the President could sign it into law,” the California Democrat said.
Democrats have framed the problem of granting statehood to Washington, DC — that voted for Joe Biden over then-President Donald Trump by 92%-5percent in November — as a significant measure for equal representation and voting rights at the USA, whereas Republicans have contended that the legislation reflects a partisan attempt by Democrats to push a progressive agenda and tip the scales in Congress in their favor.
“Let us be quite clear what HR 51 is about: It is about producing 2 new Democrat US Senate chairs,” GOP Rep. James Comer of Kentucky said through a committee markup of this bill a week.
“This announcement is part of this innovative pathway that President Biden, Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi need to reshape America to that socialist utopia the Squad discuss,” he explained.
Last month, a hearing on the laws featured testimony from Democratic DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and other regional officials.
Through the hearing, Democrats made clear they view granting statehood into DC because of civil rights and representation dilemma, while Republicans contended that earning the country’s funding the 51st country through laws, instead of via a constitutional amendment, defies the country’s laws and pushed back to additional logistical and political difficulties.