Upcoming Obstacles to DC’s Statehood
From Megan Flynn and Teddy Amenabar
With Democrats controlling both houses of Congress and the White House, the defenders make Washington, the 51st state, believe they are on the brink of a historic opportunity.
Seven months after the House of Representatives first passed the District of Columbia bill, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) says the unprecedented attack on the US Capitol adds to the urgency of the cause: DC residents, she said, risk their lives on January 6 to defend a congress that does not provide them with representation to vote.
7;s statehood still faces a number of high obstacles not only in the narrowly divided Senate but also in public opinion. A 2019 Gallup poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans are against DC statehood.
Why is DC no longer a country? What does the Constitution say?
The founding of Washington, DC, is enshrined in the Constitution, which stipulates that the District – “not exceeding 10 square miles” – will “become the seat of the United States government.” For a short time after the city was founded in 1790, residents enjoyed the right to vote and were allowed to vote as residents of Maryland or Virginia. But those rights ended soon after Congress moved to the city and the new Capitol in 1800 and passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801. The law deprives DC residents of their right to vote in all federal elections.