Norton Calls Retrocession Bill Proof of Republican Fear of D.C. Statehood Momentum

Feb 10, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released the following statement today in response to the introduction of a bill by Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) that would retrocede most of the District of Columbia to Maryland.

“The retrocession bill demonstrates Republican fear of the momentum our D.C. statehood bill is rapidly achieving,” Norton said. “Last Congress, the House passed our D.C. statehood bill by an overwhelming majority (232-180). This Congress, the bill had a record number of original cosponsors in both the House (202) and the Senate (38), and now has 210 House cosponsors and 39 Senate cosponsors.

“The retrocession bill has no support from either the District or Maryland. In fact, a huge majority of D.C. residents (86%) voted for statehood in a 2016 referendum. Retrocession would be inconsistent with that referendum vote and the District’s pursuit of self-determination. The retrocession bill concedes that the geographical size of the federal district can be reduced, as our statehood bill would do. D.C. statehood does not require a constitutional amendment. Under the Constitution, Congress has the authority to admit new states, and every new state has been admitted by Congress.”