Statehood for Washington D.C. faces uphill battle in U.S. Senate

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The Washington D.C. statehood admission bill that passed the House of Representatives on Thursday faces an uphill battle in the U.S. Senate.

The legislation would repeal the 23rd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which allows D.C. residents to vote in presidential elections. The legislation would redraw the existing boundaries of the nation’s capital to create the “state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.”

The bill also would give D.C. a representative in the House and two U.S. senators. The legislation passed in the House following the debate, 216-208, along party lines.

Democrats have argued that residents of D.C. should have full representation in Congress since they pay federal income taxes.

“We come together to right a wrong; 750,000 fellow Americans are denied the right to representation in their Congress in the very place in which Congress is located,” said Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly. “Ironically, the only capital in the Democratic world that denies its own citizens the right to vote to be represented. Let’s right this wrong after 200 years.”

House Republicans put forth an alternate proposal to allow residents of D.C. to vote in Maryland, which would give them voting representation in the House and Senate.

The idea was initially proposed as an amendment to the statehood bill but the Democratic majority on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee slapped it down. It failed to gain traction after the statehood bill passed out of committee.

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