DC Statehood Bill To Get First Hearing In Decades

DCist reports:

A historic year for the D.C. statehood movement continues, as the House Committee on Oversight and Reform schedules a hearing to discuss legislation to make the District the 51st state on July 24. It will be the first time in decades that the lower chamber has officially considered statehood for the District.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s non-voting representative in the House, announced the hearing on Thursday at the D.C. War Memorial on the National Mall, flanked by Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, among others.

The hearing fulfills a promise made to Norton by Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings, the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Talking Points Memo reports:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Thursday endorsed statehood for Washington, D.C. “More than 700,000 Americans remain unable to cast votes for an equal voice in Congress,” Hoyer wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post.

“Defending the new Constitution, James Madison assured his fellow Americans that residents of this new capital district would happily live there ‘as they will have had their voice in the election of the government which is to exercise authority over them.’ For 228 years, our government has denied them that voice.”

D.C. statehood has routinely been opposed by Republicans, largely because of the high percentage of registered Democrats in the city.