WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — As a new Congress was sworn in, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced another bid to make D.C. the 51st state.
The Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51) was introduced with 151 cosponsors, a new record, according to a statement by the Congresswoman.
Norton also said in a statement that Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) will hold a hearing and markup on the bill.
The bill would work by making the eight wards of the District into their own state. The new state would not have jurisdiction over federal territory, including the U.S. Capitol, federal monuments, federal grounds, and the National Mall.
The bill would give the new state two senators and, at first, one House member.
“We are gratified by the overwhelming support from my Democratic colleagues as we seize this new moment for statehood and press our bill in the 116th Congress with unprecedented momentum,” said Congresswoman Norton in a statement.
The push to make D.C. a new state has had longtime supporters who argue that the District pays more federal taxes than 22 states and has a bigger population than two states, yet still doesn’t have true representation in Congress.
In November, Jason Chaffetz, former Utah's Congressman and former chairman of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said “No way, no how,” on D.C. statehood.
“Republicans are simply not going to hand DC two senators and a representative. Their best chance was when Democrats had control of the House and Senate and the presidency. If they couldn’t get it done with President Barack Obama, they are not going to get it done now.”
Now, with a Democrat-controlled House, Norton’s dream looks more likely.
This is Norton’s first action in the 116th Congress.
A press conference will be held on Friday morning with Norton, alongside D.C.'s Mayor Bowser, to discuss the bill.