Norton Says Republicans Are Increasingly Nervous about D.C. Statehood as Support Rises
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said today that Republicans are increasingly nervous about the District of Columbia statehood bill because of House passage last week, a Democratic-controlled Senate, and a recent nationwide poll showing 54% of Americans support D.C. statehood.
“Republicans have been busy looking for ways to stop the D.C. statehood momentum,” Norton said. “On April 22, the day the House passed the D.C. statehood bill, Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced a bill to retrocede D.C. to Maryland, an admission that the District is treated unequally. Marshall’s bill has no support from either the District or Maryland. In fact, a huge majority of D.C. residents (86%) voted for statehood in 2016, and Maryland’s highest-ranking member of the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), a leading supporter of D.C. statehood, wrote a Washington Post op-ed in strong support of D.C. statehood. Retrocession would be inconsistent with the 2016 vote and the District’s pursuit of self-determination. Retrocession concedes that the size of the federal district can be reduced by simple legislation, as the D.C. 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 was admitted by Congress.”
On the day before House passage of the D.C. statehood bill, Representative Tom McClintock (R-CA) introduced a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to admit a new state. All 37 new states were admitted by majority vote in each chamber.
“This proposed constitutional amendment shows that Republicans are conceding that D.C. statehood is constitutional and inevitable and that only changing the Constitution can stop it,” Norton said.