On Friday, The House voted to grant Washington D.C statehood, which would be the first time either chamber will approve legislation granting full representation to the District in the country’s history and will give it voting rights in Congress. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the move earlier this week calling it a victory for the Black residents specifically because of the area’s large population.
The debate over D.C statehood isn’t a new political argument and has longed been argued on both sides. The issue of D.C. statehood has not been put to a vote since 1993. “This is not just an issue of local governance and fairness, it is a major civil rights issue as well,” Hoyer said according to Politico.
“This was an appropriate time to bring a bill forward to show respect for the citizens of the District of Columbia of whatever color, but also to show respect to a city that has a very large African American population.”
The discussion over statehood for the nation’s capital also caught steam again with the protests over police brutality and racial violence. Some critics argue it would stop President Donald Trump from taking advantage of the legal loophole. “Statehood fixes it all,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference on the House vote according, to The Atlantic.
Although some are excited about the bill, it is unlikely that the bill will make it past the senate, others argue that if given statehood, it would only give an advantage to the Democratic Party. Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia’s 10th district vehemently disagreed with the bill, expressing his frustrations on this Twitter page.
If #DCStatehood was just about representation for DC residents, we could simply give the land back to Maryland — but that’s not what Democrats want.
This bill creates two more Senators. Guess which party they’d be?
Hint: 90% voted for Clinton in 2016.pic.twitter.com/qjWUzVyOzp
— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) June 24, 2020