US House Votes on Historic DC Statehood Bill

US House Votes on Historic DC Statehood Bill

US House Votes on Historic DC Statehood Bill

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., speaks at a news conference on District of Columbia statehood efforts on June 16. It passed 232 to 180, with 19 members not voting. "We stand out as the only democracy, which denies democracy to the residents of its own capital city".

But as a result, it has not benefited from the same rights as neighboring Maryland and Virginia and others farther afield.

In 1978, the House and the Senate approved the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment, which would have enabled Washington residents to elect one USA representative and two US senators. Amendments would require 60 votes to be added to the bill, and unfortunately, it would have been unlikely that Democrats would have gained support by the Republicans for their amendments. It is true that D.C.is more brown and more liberal than many other states. Black men in the District got the right to vote during Reconstruction, but as they became more politically powerful, Congress removed that right in 1890. But Republicans in the Senate oppose the measure, making Friday's vote symbolic.

"The ideas of preserving officers' safety and also addressing systemic racism. are important to me", said Hashim, who left the state police past year.

"The whims of the federal government can encroach on our even limited autonomy, and it can do so in ways that are threats to all of the American states and all of the American people", Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

Today's Democrats have tried to play up what they call their emphasis on voting, representation and racial justice, all of which underpin the political strategy on the D.C. statehood vote.

"When we pass this bill", she said, "the Senate will have a choice: to honor George Floyd's life, or to do nothing".

On Friday the city council voted unanimously to replace the Minneapolis police department with a new entity focused on "community safety and violence prevention".

The Mayor said this vote is a closer crawl to justice. The group also notes that the District receives nearly 30% of its budget from the federal government, which is less than five other states. Rather, it will be split into two. A small section of D.C., basically encompassing the Mall and including the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court and surrounding federal buildings and monuments, will remain a federal district under the name District of Columbia. The rest will become "Washington, Douglass Commonwealth".

But House Republican Mo Brooks likened the statehood effort to a power grab by Democrats seeking "two more guaranteed leftwing senators".

The bill was proposed by Senator Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate. "And yeah, as long as I'm the majority leader of the Senate, none of that stuff is going anywhere".

"We got more votes, by the way, than we thought we would", she told Shapiro. Several Black Democratic lawmakers rose to encourage him to pick up a United States history book or watch some of the many films now streaming about the Black experience in America.

"No thank you. That will never happen", he said.

In 2016, about 91 per cent of D.C.'s voters selected Democrat Hillary Clinton for president, while just 4 per cent chose President Trump.

Norton said polls showing the Senate and White House is in reach for Democrats in the November elections are encouraging signs for the potential enactment of statehood in the next congressional session.

The vote comes amid an increased push for statehood after the Trump administration deployed federal law enforcement officers to disperse protesters from an area near St. John's Church, where the president was preparing for a photo opportunity earlier this month. "We know our constituents of color will benefit from this".

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