Politics Over 1700 DC veterans ask Senate to pass statehood bill
Trump Is Exploiting D.C.'s Lack of Statehood
The president’s crackdown in the capital exposes its vulnerability to authoritarianism.A great deal has changed since 1993, the last time advocates tried and failed to pass such a measure in the House. But the surge of support for statehood among congressional Democrats is in large part a backlash against President Donald Trump’s aggressive response within the district to the civil unrest sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of police. National Guard troops gathered with federal law-enforcement officers in the streets of the capital, arrayed against peaceful protesters without the city’s consent. For residents of D.C.
More than 1,700 veterans from Washington, D.C. are asking the Senate to pass legislation making the District the country's 51st state.
On Friday the Housethat would grant the District statehood, marking the first time such legislation passed either chamber of Congress, but the bill faces steep opposition in the Republican-led Senate.
The veterans are part of Common Defense, a group of progressive anti-Trump former military. They echoed sentiments made by Democratic lawmakers while discussing the bill, which regained momentum after the demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, clashed with federal law enforcement earlier this month.
House moves to approve D.C. statehood; Senate GOP opposes
The Democratic-controlled House is moving toward approval of a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state.Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the district's non-voting representative in Congress, sponsored the bill, saying it has both the facts and Constitution on its side.
"While the capital's ability to be manipulated by the president is renewing the urgency for statehood, it is far from the only reason Washington, D.C. should become the nation's 51st state," the group wrote in a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.).
Trump and his administration have taken an aggressive stance to the protests, criticizing D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) personally, mobilizing the D.C. National Guard and turning federal police on demonstrators near the White House in Lafayette Square.
"The President deployed more than 7,500 soldiers and officers to deter civilians from protesting the murder of George Floyd, a decision that was both distressing and profoundly un-American," the letter read.
Republicans have argued against D.C. statehood because the District is allocated three electoral college delegates under the 23rd Amendment, and creating a new state would leave them unaccounted for. The Democrat's bill includes provisions expediting the repeal of the 23rd amendment.
Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Muriel Bowser .
The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser. Read excerpts from the interview below.Clemons: I've been watching what you've been doing and there have been so many storms hitting not only the national but this city at the same time. How do you keep your balance? What's your North Star right now? Bowser: Our North Star continues to be to manage the district through these crises, to be able to invest in and uphold our values, Steve. So we need to make sure these crises don't change our core values but actually help us focus on them and come out on the other side of this pandemic in a better place.