D.C. looks for statehood


The capital building in Washington D.C. with the two bodies that compose the legislative branch of the American government.

     On Friday, March 26, 2021, the United States House will hold a vote on an act known as the Washington D.C. Admission Act. If approved, this will grant D.C. the title as the United States’ 51st state, allowing voting representation in the House of Representatives and Senate for its 700,000 residents.

     Washington D.C. was created by what is now known as the Compromise of 1790. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state’s remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the Southern United States.

     Congress has attempted to make D.C. a state many times before.. On January 3, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced House Resolution 51, the Washington D.C. Admission Act, in the 117th Congress with a record 202 original cosponsors.

     According to Time.com, D.C is also one of the most Democratic areas in the country. A staggering 92% of D.C. voters cast their ballots for Joe Biden last year, making it  it almost impossible to imagine Republicans agreeing with plans to give Washington D.C. two votes in the Senate, one in the House of Representatives, and another three in the Electoral College.

     “The prediction is that you would be giving Democrats more power in Congress if you let territories like Puerto Rico and D.C. become states, so the Republicans would see that as losing out on electoral vote wise and congressional wise,”  government teacher Kym Grillot commented.

     On Twitter, Senator Mike Rounds stated, “D.C. Statehood is really about packing the Senate with Democrats in order to pass a left-wing agenda.” 

     On the other hand,  other senators like Senator Kristen Gillibrand said, “Democracy isn’t just for some of us. It’s time to give D.C. the representation it deserves.”

CBSNews stated, “As the House prepares to take up the issue this week of statehood for the District of Columbia, a new national poll finds that 54% of likely voters think D.C. should be a state, a record high level of support.”

     Grillot explained that the Constitution states that if D.C, or any territory wants to apply for statehood, they should be allowed to vote, and go throughout the process of statehood initiation.

     Now, this begs the question of whether or not other U.S. territories should go through the process of becoming a state. In the Constitution, the requirements for a territory to become a state are the following: a state must possess a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to conduct international relations.

     Puerto Rico has already made its way to Congress to ask for statehood. According to the conversation.com, Puerto Ricans requested statehood on November 3, 2020, with 52.3% of voters asking to change the island’s status from unincorporated territory to U.S. state.

     This is still yet to be debated in Congress, and there is no set date for it either, so all that these other territories can do is wait and hope for the best.