Norton Announces Historic Vote on H.R. 1: House of Representatives Endorses D.C. Statehood for First Time in American History

Mar 8, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) applauded the passage of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives today, marking the first time in American history either chamber of Congress has endorsed statehood for the District of Columbia.  H.R. 1, a pro-democracy bill that includes numerous findings to expand democracy in the United States, contains extensive findings supporting statehood for D.C.  This achievement builds on Norton’s work to make D.C the 51st state and sets the stage for consideration of H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have both strongly endorsed D.C. statehood, and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has committed to holding a hearing and markup of H.R. 51 this year.

“There is no other way to describe it – this is historic,” Norton said.  “After decades of struggle, the House of Representatives today endorsed D.C. statehood in H.R. 1, our major democracy reform bill.  In 2019, D.C. residents cannot make up for two centuries of carrying all the obligations of citizenship without full equality.  This vote comes too late for members of the armed forces who have served in all the nation’s wars without the rights of those who fought beside them.  What today’s vote does do is pave the way for a vote on H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, and assures we are on the cusp of righting one of the nation’s oldest continuing wrongs.”

Norton’s H.R. 51 has a historic 201 cosponsors and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) reintroduced the D.C. statehood bill in the Senate with a record 28 original cosponsors.