FACTS

    The House of Representatives voted Friday to pass the H.R. 51 bill which aims to make the District of Columbia (D.C.) the 51st state in the union. In 1993, which is the last time a statehood vote was held in the House, 60% of Democrats supported it while only one Republican was in favor. Friday, no Republicans supported it. This is the first time that a statehood measure has been approved by either chamber, but it is still in need of the Senate’s approval. The proposed name for the state is Douglass Commonwealth. Some who support D.C. statehood have also called to make Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory, into a state.

    RIGHT

    The Right does not support the bill. They argue that the founders did not intend for D.C. to be a state, and that such a move would require constitutional changes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) referred to it as a part of a socialist agenda. He said he will oppose the bill which would grant the liberal D.C. area two more Democratic senators, and President Trump echoed his stance. Republicans tend to view the call for statehood as an “attempt by Democrats to add to their ranks in Congress.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) accused Democrats, saying they are “angry that they don’t win every election under the current rules, so they want to change the rules.”

    LEFT

    The Left believes supports the bill. House speaker Nanci Pelosi (D-Ca), said that the current status of D.C. is “unjust, unequal, undemocratic and unacceptable.” While it is unexpected to pass through the GOP-controlled Senate, many believe it will be a “major legislative priority in some future period when Democrats control the House, Senate and the presidency.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that the issue of D.C. statehood is rooted in the history of slavery. A campaign director for 51 for 51 – an organization supporting D.C. statehood – called recent national protests “a call to challenge the very institutions that allow white supremacy and racism. The fact that over 700,000 mostly black and brown people [in DC] do not have a vote in Congress is racism.”

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