Norton Introduces D.C. Statehood Bill with Record Number of Original Cosponsors, Announces House Oversight Committee Will Hold Hearing and Markup This Year
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today introduced the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51) to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, her first bill of the 116th Congress. She introduced the bill with 155 original cosponsors, a new record, up from the previous record Norton set in the 115th Congress (116). Norton also announced that the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), has committed to holding a hearing and markup in 2019 on H.R. 51.
“We are gratified by the overwhelming support from my Democratic colleagues as we seize this new moment for statehood and press our bill in the 116th Congress with unprecedented momentum,” said Congresswoman Norton. “I am particularly grateful to Chairman Cummings for his support of H.R. 51 and his commitment to holding a hearing and markup in 2019, the first such House hearing or markup since 1993, when I got the first-ever House floor vote on it. A hearing and markup will provide a prime opportunity to inform and remind Americans that over 700,000 of their fellow citizens who live in the nation’s capital are denied their basic democratic rights.”
“We must protect the rights of everyone across the country, including the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who live in our nation’s capital,” said Chairman Cummings. “Congresswoman Norton has been a strong advocate for her constituents for many years, and now is the time to take action. I plan to schedule a hearing and markup this year in the Oversight Committee on her bill, H.R. 51, and I will work closely with our leadership to move this legislation onto the House floor.”
Norton’s bill would create a state from the eight hometown wards of the District. The 51st state would have no jurisdiction over the federal territory or enclave that now consists of the Washington that Members of Congress and visitors associate with the nation’s capital. The U.S. Capitol premises, the principal federal monuments, federal buildings and grounds, the National Mall and other federal property here would remain under federal jurisdiction. Norton’s bill provides that the State of Washington, D.C. would be equal to the other 50 states in all respects, as is always required for states, and the residents of the state of Washington, D.C. would have all the rights of citizenship as taxpaying American citizens, including two senators and, initially, one House member.