DON YOUNG VOTES AGAINST IT
In an historic vote, U.S. House of Representatives today voted in support of statehood for the District of Columbia.
U.S. Congressman Don Young voted against the measure, but the House is controlled by Democrats and for the first time in history the perennial effort to create the 51st state passed, 232-180. Just one Democrat and one independent voted against it. Republicans voted against it, as DC would be a powerful Democrat-controlled state. Also, there were constitutional reasons cited.
“Our founders never intended for Washington, D.C. to become a state. Our Nation’s Capital was meant to be an independent federal district, and for that reason, our Capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. in the eighteenth century,” said Rep. Don Young.
“The bill passed out of the House today is very flawed. First and foremost, the bill violates the Constitution’s enclave clause, which requires Congress to retain control of the federal seat of power. Secondly, and most crucially, the bill shrinks the federal district without immediately repealing the 23rd Amendment. Without its repeal, the smaller federal district still retains its three electoral votes, effectively giving the remaining residents – the First Family – three Electoral Votes for president. My Democrat colleagues have dedicated a lot of time to antagonizing President Trump; it is ironic then that their flawed statehood bill would give him de-facto control of electoral votes that could swing a presidential election.”
Young said that the framers of the Constitution intended for states to become eligible for statehood. He has authored the only statehood bill for Puerto Rico to ever pass the House and he believes Puerto Rico has been treated unfairly because of its territorial status.
“Statehood for Puerto Rico would give it the tools, resources, and power necessary to get its fiscal house in order so that taxpayers are not on the hook to bail out the island. The people of Puerto Rico have voted twice in the past eight years to become a state, and I continue working closely with Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón and other advocates to help make their admission to the Union a reality. The House should be bringing her statehood legislation to the Floor instead of wasting time and resources on this partisan D.C. bill.”
The bill, HR 51, sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Norton Holmes, the nonvoting House member from the district, now goes to the Senate.
Although the Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass the bill, if the Senate flips blue in November, the bill will have a real chance of passage. If Joe Biden wins as president, he has already said he will sign the bill making Washington, D.C. a state.