Norton Says Bills to Thwart D.C. Statehood Show Republicans Fear Statehood Momentum
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released the following statement today in response to three anti-District of Columbia statehood bills introduced in the House during the last two weeks. Two of the three bills push to retrocede D.C. to Maryland. The third bill purports to limit the composition of the Senate to senators who are from states admitted to the Union prior to the 116th Congress, the current Congress.
“These bills demonstrate Republican fear of the momentum our D.C. statehood bill is rapidly achieving. The House passed our D.C. statehood bill by an overwhelming majority (232-180) that included even Members who won seats by only a few points to give Democrats the majority – Members from red states.
“The two bills for retrocession to Maryland have 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 current pursuit of self-determination. The retrocession bills concede that the geographical size of the federal district can be reduced, as our statehood bill would do.
“Moreover, Maryland residents, who have only one large city, Baltimore, have never indicated or voted to add another, the District of Columbia. In fact, Maryland’s most senior Member, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, is not only a cosponsor of our D.C. statehood bill, he wrote a Washington Post op-ed piece strongly promoting D.C. statehood.
“The third bill, a constitutional amendment, purports to limit the composition of the Senate to senators who are from states admitted to the Union prior to the current Congress. This far-fetched attempt to keep D.C. from becoming the 51st state has not even drawn Republican support. It is even more unlikely to succeed because the constitutional amendment concedes that D.C. statehood is constitutional and that only a constitutional amendment can block it.”