After the U.S. House of Representatives debated a D.C. statehood bill in 1992, the measure made it out of committee before being killed during a vote on the House floor. But a statehood bill debated yesterday in the U.S. Senate may not even make it out of committee — despite Democrats controlling the chamber.
The last time Congress considered legislation to change the District of Columbia’s status as a non-voting federal jurisdiction, it was only a partial measure and Democrats controlled both chambers as well as the White House. But in an environment where even 2009’s halfway measure looks highly unlikely -- if not impossible -- supporters are pushing for full statehood.
President Barack Obama is for D.C. Statehood, as are quite a few of his neighbors in the District of Columbia. On Monday, those boosters will make the first concrete progress toward that goal in 20 years. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the New Columbia Admission Act of 2013. The hearing will be the first about D.C. statehood since 1993, when a similar House measure went up for a vote.
Along the walk underground from the Capitol to the Dirksen Senate Building, you traverse a long, soulless hallway with a mini train track. As the path curves around, a flag of each state hangs with a corresponding circular crest. Each state’s flag hangs in the order of its admission to the United States.
A Senate committee held a hearing Monday on a bill that would grant statehood to the District of Columbia. Or perhaps it's better to say a single Senator held a hearing on the bill, since only Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Del.), who chairs the committee and introduced the legislation, stayed for the entire duration.
Democratic senator held the first congressional hearing on D.C. statehood in 20 years to “restart the conversation” about the city’s lack of voting representation on Capitol Hill, but the discussion barely got off the ground before a top Republican quickly dismissed the summit as a one-sided look at a measure that’s going nowhere.
Washington, D.C. residents crowded into a hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Monday to witness the first hearing on D.C. statehood in two decades, though enacting statehood in the 113th Congress is not likely anytime soon.
Sen. Thomas R. Carper, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, facilitated the hearing, fulfilling a promise that the Senate would consider D.C. statehood in the fall.
WASHINGTON -- Less than 20 minutes after it began, the first hearing in more than 20 years on D.C. statehood became contentious.
The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee met Monday to discuss a bill that would make the District of Columbia America's 51st state. Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) admitted that he and ranking member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) disagreed on the issue, and Coburn didn't hesitate to call the bill a "distraction."
For the first time in two decades, Congress will hold a hearing on whether to allow the District to become a state.
And that is where the exercise will end.
In a bill that will come before a U.S. Senate committee Monday, the District would become “New Columbia,” the 51st state.