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The Latest Push Toward Statehood For Washington, D.C.

The House of Representatives is set to pass  a bill that would define the future of the District of Columbia. This bill is the first of its kind since 1993 and is a necessary step towards D.C.’s statehood.

As NPR’S Barbara Sprunt reports:

The bill, sponsored by D.C.’s nonvoting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, has over 220 co-sponsors and would place the new state of “Washington, Douglass Commonwealth” on “equal footing with the other states,” providing residents with the right to elect two senators and one representative.

The push for D.C. statehood has been ongoing for decades. D.C. is 47 percent Black. Its residents pay federal taxes despite having no vote in Congress. But a 1993 bill for statehood was overwhelmingly defeated. And although this bill will have to contend with  a Republican-controlled Senate and a likely veto from President Trump, it seems statehood could be closer than ever.

Why is D.C. not a state — still? What’s different about this push?

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Haili Blassingame