Norton Gets Clinton’s Personal Support for D.C. Statehood
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that, in a conversation today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally told Norton that she strongly supports statehood for the District of Columbia. Clinton told Norton, “I have always been with you, Eleanor. Of course I support D.C. statehood.” In their conversation, Norton spoke to Secretary Clinton about how D.C. wanted the vote, but only statehood could free D.C. from congressional interference, and Clinton agreed.
“I have known Secretary Clinton since she was first lady, so I was not surprised by her support for D.C. statehood,” Norton said. “President Bill Clinton was the first president to support statehood for the District of Columbia, and President Obama has followed in endorsing D.C. statehood. President Clinton made phone calls that helped get Democrats to support my statehood bill when I first came to Congress. I am not surprised that President Clinton and Secretary Clinton have long been on the same page for full and equal rights for the residents of the District of Columbia.”
Norton attended three Capitol Hill meetings today with Secretary Clinton: a Democratic Caucus meeting, at which Norton asked Clinton about the Iran nuclear deal; a Congressional Black Caucus meeting; and a Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) meeting. Norton said she waited until the conclusion of the CPC meeting because she wanted to have a personal conversation about this top issue for District residents and be assured of Clinton’s support in the future.
In 1993, almost two thirds of House Democrats and one Republican voted for D.C. statehood in the only vote that has ever occurred on the floor on the issue in either chamber. The House has mostly been controlled by Republicans since Norton came to Congress, making it difficult to get a statehood vote to the floor since.
At the beginning of this Congress, Norton introduced her bill to make the District the 51st state with a record number of original cosponsors (93), and it currently has a record number of cosponsors (121). Senator Carper, ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the companion to Norton’s D.C. statehood bill with a record 17 original cosponsors, including the top four Senate Democratic leaders. Last September, the Senate held its first-ever D.C. statehood hearing and the first congressional hearing on D.C. statehood in over 20 years.