US House approves bill to make DC 51st state

Sunday, 28 Jun, 2020

However, Democrats say the Republican bill will not protect black Americans, arguing that it relies on data collection and financial incentives for state and local police departments to adopt reforms on their own. The surge in the virus' spread comes following an intense push by the president to ease mitigation requirements and reopen states' economies.

The main difference between the two versions is that the Democrats' bill strips police officers of qualified immunity, thereby allowing victims of misconduct to sue them.

In addition to becoming the 51st state of the union, the bill would change what "DC" stands for, from the District of Columbia - named after the increasingly unpopular Italian explorer whose statues are being toppled all over the country - to "Douglass Commonwealth", after the freed slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

"In addition, H.R. 51 would create an opportunity for a new State of Washington, D.C.to dominate the capital and render those who meet there beholden to its interests, rather than the interests of the Nation as a whole", the OMB statement said.

Rep. Bob Woodall (R-Ga.) said that in order for the police reform legislation to be passed and made into law, it has to bipartisan and the House Democrat's Justice in Policing Act is not.

"She knows", Kennedy said of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "that D.C.is heavily, heavily, heavily Democratic and they would pick up a congressional seat and two Senate seats and that's what it's going to come down to".

Pelosi asked the Congressional Black Caucus to lead the effort on the legislation, introduced two weeks after Floyd was was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis police custody.

"This is not just an issue of local governance and fairness, it is a major civil rights issue as well", House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said as he announced the vote last week.

Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands have also discussed the possibility of statehood over the past few decades, but so far with no change of status in sight. The area's other 66 square miles would constitute the state.

Washington, DC residents received the right to vote for the president in 1961 and DC carries three votes in the US Electoral College which determines the victor of presidential elections.

"Yes, Wyoming is smaller than Washington by population, but it has three times as many workers in mining, logging, and construction, and 10 times as many workers in manufacturing", Cotton said in the speech, which drew outrage on the left.

"My life as a third generation Washingtonian has marched toward this milestone", Norton said at a news conference at the US Capitol on Thursday. Lobbying? Bureaucracy? Give me a break.

Republicans oppose the Democratic bill because of mandates they say could undermine law enforcement.

The administration brought National Guard troops from across the country and stationed active duty military around the area, threatening to send them in if necessary.

Mayor Muriel Bowser hailed the vote, saying, "I was born without representation, but I swear - I will not die without representation". Last fall, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser lined a parade route with USA flags featuring 51 stars as part of a rally to promote the D.C. statehood bill in Congress.

"Let's fight back against the cries that we're too liberal or we're too Black or there are too many Democrats".