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Could a Constitutional loophole grant D.C. statehood? The District's delegate in congress thinks so

A tweet by The District's delegate in congress is breathing new life into the decades-old debate over D.C. becoming its own state.

WASHINGTON -- A tweet by The District's delegate in congress is breathing new life into the decades-old debate over D.C. becoming its own state.

"The Constitution states that the federal district shall not exceed 10 sq miles," tweeted Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton.

Monday was #ConstitutionDay, celebrating the ratification of the constitution on September 17, 1787.

"My #DCStatehood bill shrinks the capital to its ample federal core and makes local DC neighborhoods the 51st state. No amendment needed to give DC residents their democratic rights."

While the tweet garnered more than 1,000 retweets and more than 2,800 favorites, the idea is not new. But there are a new set of challenges facing the bill.

Here's what's at play:

1. Midterm elections might clear a path for the D.C. statehood. Sort of. If Democrats are able to reclaim the house in November, that could thrust a statehood bill into the limelight once again. There's only been one congressional vote on statehood and that was in 1993. It was defeated in the House with a vote of 277 to 153.

Remember, D.C. becoming a state would finally give it representation in the House and Senate. D.C. becoming a state would give it full representation. The Delegate does not vote on final passage of bills in the House. She can, and does, vote in committee, and has the power to introduce legislation… like the statehood bill.

Statehood would also give The District full home rule, making its budget and local laws impervious to interference by congress.

2. President Trump could still veto a statehood bill. Even if a statehood bill passes the House, the bill is not likely to get a 60-vote majority in the Senate to immediately become law. President Trump could still veto the bill as to not rile national Republicans fearing an advantage for Democrats in congress.

3. More sponsors are signing on to the bill. Norton's statehood bill has 166 sponsors in the House and 29 in the Senate, both records.

"It's great to see the support," said Norton spokesman Benjamin Fritsch. "We're hoping that statehood might get a new push."