President Joe Biden’s administration announced Tuesday that it “strongly supports” making Washington, D.C. the 51st state, calling on Congress to “provide for a swift and orderly transition to statehood” for the nation’s capital.
“Establishing the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state will make our Union stronger and more just,” the administration said in a statement. “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 Biden administration specifically expressed its support for H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, saying that “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.”
“This taxation without representation and denial of selfgovernance is an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded,” the Biden administration asserted. “H.R. 51rights this wrong by making Washington, D.C. a state and providing its residents with long overdue full representation in Congress, while maintaining a Federal District that will continue to serve as our Nation’s seat of government.”
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on the legislation, keeping a promise Democrats made to prioritize the measure during Biden’s first 100 days as president.
In order for the bill to advance, Democrats will need at least 10 Republican senators to support the legislation without eliminating the 60-vote filibuster.
The push for D.C. statehood has been widely criticized by GOP lawmakers, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz who last summer said the motivation to make the nation’s capital a state is purely political.
“Just politics: every Dem supports bc you want 2 more Dem senators. Am curious, would you still support if VA had to give Arlington back to DC? W/o northern VA, Virginia would likely return to 2 GOP senators…” Cruz tweeted.