The House voted to transform Washington, DC into a state Thursday on the pure party-line vote of 216-208.
Before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argued in favor of the bill, describing Washington, DC residents as being “denied their right to fully participate in their democracy.”
Pelosi also said Washington, DC “pays more federal taxes per capita than any other state. Its budget is larger than 12 states. Its population is larger than two states… Its people have been fighting for voting rights for 220 years, with a full 86 percent recently voting for statehood.”
The Speaker saluted Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) for her “leadership in bringing this historic legislation to the floor”; Norton then said of the legislation, “Congress has a moral obligation and constitutional authority to pass HR 51.”
The Republican opposition to D.C. statehood was not so complementarity of Ms. Norton’s “socialist utopia.”
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) spoke opposing the legislation. “Let’s be clear what H.R. 51 is all about,” he began. “It’s about Democrats adding two new progressive U.S. senators to push a radical agenda championed by the Squad to reshape America into the socialist utopia they dream about.”
“H.R. 51 is not really about voting representation. It’s about Democrats consolidating their power in Washington,” Comer stated.
Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) voiced his opposition to the idea that Washington, DC has no representation, calling it “absolutely false.”
“It does have local representation. [It] also has a delegate right here in the House of Representatives. And has electoral votes for the Presidential election. Seems like – something no other city in this country has. H.R. 51 flies in the face of what our founders intended,” Hice boldly said.
The Framers “never wanted the seat of our government to be a state, and they specifically framed the Constitution to say so,” he concluded.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) took the totality of the Democrats’ radical agenda to task. “Democrats started last week with one of their members saying we should get rid of the police all together. They ended last week with another one of their members being admonished by the trial judge in Minneapolis for saying ridiculous things,” he pointed out.
“And what did [Democrats] do in between?” he asked.
“They passed this bill out of committee which gives two new Democrat senators to the District of Columbia and, less than 24 hours after that bill passed in committee, they introduced legislation to pack the Supreme Court,” Jordan recalled.
“In three months of Democrats being in control of the federal government… They created a crisis on the southern border. And they continue their push to defund the police now so they can continue their radical policies,” he reminded the House floor.
“Think about what else they passed out of this body,” Jordan said.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) argued that, “No state has been admitted by the Constitution, but no state was created from a territory which was crafted in the Constitution.”
The legislation will now proceed to the Senate, where Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Angus King (I-ME) have said they are a doubtful “no” vote.
The Biden administration, however, declared its support of D.C. statehood Tuesday, contrasting previous Democrat administrations’ legal determinations of unconstitutionality.
The White House Office of Management and Budget issued a Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 51, writing, “Establishing the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state will make our Union stronger and more just.”
But legal scholars and two Democrat administrations have objected to D.C. statehood’s viability without a Constitutional amendment to the Twenty-Third Amendment.
“The Office of Legal Counsel in 2007 believed it was unconstitutional, the Justice Department under former President Reagan and former President Carter stated the transformation was unconstitutional, and so did Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, when he sat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” Breitbart News reported.