Norton Thanks Carper for Introducing D.C. Statehood Bill in Senate, Bill Has Record Number of Original Cosponsors

Jan 27, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) thanked Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) for introducing today the Senate companion to Norton’s District of Columbia statehood bill, which she introduced at the beginning of the 117th Congress with a record 202 original cosponsors. Carper introduced the bill with a record number of original cosponsors.

“We are deeply indebted to Senator Carper for his unending efforts for D.C. statehood and his priority in reintroducing the Senate companion to our D.C. statehood bill this year with a record number of original cosponsors,” Norton said. “There’s never been a time when statehood for the District was more likely. After the historic passage of the D.C. statehood bill in the House last June and reintroduction in the House this year with a record 202 original cosponsors, and now with Senator Carper’s reintroduction of the Senate companion bill with a new record number of original cosponsors, we’re ready to achieve voting representation and full local self-government for the 712,000+ residents of the District of Columbia.

 “In addition to Senator Carper’s good news, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer have already committed to bringing the D.C. statehood bill to the House floor again this Congress,” Norton added. “Democrats have the majority in the House and the Senate, and President Joe Biden supports D.C. statehood. This is the time we can finally correct this historic injustice and give D.C. residents the same rights as other taxpaying Americans.”

“Our nation’s capital is home to more than just federal buildings and monuments. It’s also home to more than 700,000 Americans taxpayers who, despite our nation’s founding mantra — ‘no taxation without representation’ — pay their share of taxes without full voting representation in either chamber of Congress. In fact, despite paying more in federal taxes per capita than citizens of any other state, DC residents have no say in how those taxes are actually spent. The isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue — it’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation given to the residents of DC is inconsistent with the values on which this country was founded. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us who enjoy the right and the privilege of full voting rights and representation to take up the cause of our fellow citizens in the District of Columbia. Plain and simple, this is a matter of fairness. We must use our voices to call out this historic injustice and right this wrong. I am hopeful that we can come together to do just that this Congress,” said Senator Tom Carper. “I want to thank Congresswoman Norton and Mayor Bowser for their steadfast leadership and partnership on this issue. I’m proud to be introducing this bill this Congress with the highest number of original cosponsors we have ever received and with the support of all the Senators who represent the communities that make up the greater Washington metro area in Maryland and Virginia.”

“For far too long the people of the District of Columbia have been denied their right of self-governance and have faced taxation without representation. The need for urgent action has only been underscored by recent events— the Congress must stop trying to impose its will and substitute its judgment for the people of the District of Columbia. The people who reside in our Nation’s Capital must be given the same basic political rights afforded citizens in the fifty states —the right to send their representatives and senators to vote on their behalf in the House and Senate. We must grant the District statehood, now, and I’m committed to getting it done,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“We thank Senator Carper for introducing the Washington, DC Admission Act in the early days of the new Congress,” said D.C. Mayor Bowser. “We know that DC statehood cannot wait. Generations of Washingtonians have been denied the right to participate in our democracy – to have their voices and votes heard in Congress, to help shape the future of our nation, and to have a say on Supreme Court justices, whose decisions affect every single person living in the United States. Starting with record support in the Senate, which we expect to grow under Senator Carper and Congresswoman Norton's leadership, is a promising sign that our country is finally ready to right this historic wrong.”

“The reintroduction of this important legislation, with a record number of original cosponsors, gives hope that D.C. statehood is close to becoming a reality,” said D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson. “It’s shameful that U.S. citizens, because they live in the District, have had to fight for so long and so hard, to achieve the same rights as all other citizens of the United States.”