The White House backs a bill to make Washington, DC a state, calling lack of representation 'an affront' to 'democratic values'

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Grace Panetta
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Eleanor Holmes Norton
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the District of Columbia statehood bill, Monday, March 22, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington Caroline Brehman/Pool via CQ Roll Call
  • The White House is officially backing a bill to make Washington, DC the 51st state.

  • The White House said DC statehood will "make our Union stronger and more just."

  • A bill to make DC a state is now set for passage through the Democratic-controlled US House.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The White House is officially backing a Democratic-backed bill that would make Washington, DC a state.

In a statement released by the Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday morning, the White House expressed support for H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which is being advanced through the Democratic-controlled US House.

Read more: Capitol Hill staffers are burned out and heading for the exits after a hellish year bookmarked by a pandemic and an insurrection

The bill is headed for a floor vote of the full House after passing through the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on April 14.

"For far too long, the more than 700,000 people of Washington, D.C. have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress," the White House said. "This taxation without representation and denial of self-governance is an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded."

H.R. 51 would turn what is now Washington, DC into a state called Douglass Commonwealth, named for Fredrick Douglass, with two US Senators and one representative in the House. It would retain the White House, the National Mall, and the Capitol as a federally-controlled jurisdiction.

While Washington, DC is allocated three votes in the electoral college to vote for president, the district has no governor and no voting representation in Congress.

The district's sole delegate, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, serves on committees but cannot vote.

"Establishing the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state will make our Union stronger and more just," the White House said. "Washington, D.C. has a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy."

The bill to make DC a state, however, is supported exclusively by Democrats and is unlikely to get the 10 Republican votes needed to surpass the filibuster in the US Senate, which is evenly split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.

Read the original article on Business Insider