One Big Thing: Do you support statehood for Washington D.C.?
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What is it?
- This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on legislation granting Washington D.C. statehood and the accompanying privileges including congressional representation by means of one Congressman and two Senators. Many believe the bill will pass the House but is unlikely to make it through the Senate.
- While nearly 86% of DC residents favor statehood, most other Americans do not as a Gallup poll shows that 64% of non-DC residents do not favor statehood for the nation’s capital.
Why is it important?
- Whether in favor or against D.C. statehood, the issue will be perennial since it is a political issue. The District has gained many rights during the past 200+ years from self-governance to having three electoral votes when electing the president. Many see these gains as enough, plus the many advantages of living in the capital, but many, particularly residents, see it differently.
- Those in favor of DC’s statehood argue based on raw facts. D.C. has just over 700,000 residents, more populous than both Vermont and Wyoming and comparable to Delaware and Alaska. Yet, D.C. representatives to Congress do not have voting rights, leaving many to claim “taxation without representation.”
- Residents pay more in total federal income tax than of 22 actual states and DC residents have fought in the military in every war. To those who favor of D.C. statehood, these facts alone should be a basis for becoming a state.
- However, those against D.C.’s statehood say that it is unconstitutional. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution explicitly states that the national capital would not be part of a state nor treated as a state, but rather a neutral “district” in which representatives of all the states could meet on an equal footing.
What can you do?
- Check out the bill in question HERE
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