President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are 180 degrees apart when it comes to whether the District of Columbia should achieve statehoo
President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are 180 degrees apart when it comes to whether the District of Columbia should achieve statehood.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is expected to take a historic vote on Friday by passing a bill that would make D.C. a state. The last vote over D.C. statehood – which was 27 years ago – failed. But the current bill has 226 co-sponsors, enough to pass the in the chamber.
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But the bill will likely die in the Republican-controlled Senate – where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won’t bring the measure to the floor for a vote.
Biden supports making the District a state.
“DC should be a state. Pass it on,” he tweeted on Thursday night as he retweeted a tweet by former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a rival during the Democratic presidential primaries.
But the president opposes the push.
“D.C. will never be a state,” Trump told the New York Post last month. “You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No, thank you. That’ll never happen.”
And on Wednesday the president’s advisers issued a policy statement saying they would recommend that Trump veto the D.C. statehood bill if it ever reached his desk.
Democrats have long urged that the District’s 705,000 residents should have full voting rights and all the benefits of statehood because they pay more federal taxes than residents of more than 20 states — and that District residents have fought in every American war.
Republicans stress that the creation of any new state would require a constitutional amendment — and they argue that if the District became a state, it would have undue influence over the federal government. They also claim that D.C. is not ready to handle the responsibilities of a state.
The District has one non-floor voting delegate in the House and no representation in the Senate. Because D.C.’s not a state, bills passed by the city council and signed by the mayor need to obtain congressional approval before becoming law.
The bill likely to pass the House on Friday would reduce the federal government’s control to a two-square-mile enclave that includes the White House, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court and other federal buildings. The rest of the District would become known as the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.