As the nation discusses the possibility of D.C. gaining statehood, a new poll indicates that a growing number of Americans support the decision. This comes after the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing on a bill that would grant D.C. statehood.
In January, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is a non-voting D.C representative, reintroduced H.R. 51, a bill that, if passed, would make it possible for D.C. to have two U.S. Senators and a House Rep. Last year, in a vote of 232-180, a similar bill was passed, but it was turned down in the Republican-controlled Senate.
With Democrats controlling all chambers of government, a successful push to make the District of Columbia a state could be within reach.
In a poll conducted by Data for Progress and the progressive advocacy coalition Democracy for all 2021 Action, 74% of Democratic respondents approved of D.C. gaining statehood while 34% of Republicans approved. Nationally, 54% of Americans approve of the move.
In the Sunshine State, Florida Democrats are also championing the idea. Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) took to Twitter to express why statehood is the best choice for D.C. moving forward, noting that “the people of DC are American citizens like any other, but their problems are routinely ignored and their rights denied.” In turn, Wasserman Schultz argued that discussing this “isn’t a political issue, it’s a moral one.”
— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) March 22, 2021
However, the move faces staunch opposition from Republicans who argue that Democrats only support it as part of their plan to tip the balance of power, which would result in a more imposing government that implements higher taxes.
92% of the District voted for President Joe Biden (D) in the 2020 election.
James Comer (R), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, called the bill an attempt by the “radical leftist agenda to reshape America, along with the Green New Deal, defunding the police, and packing the U.S. Supreme Court.”