House to Vote on Washington D.C. Statehood But Senate Opposition Looms

The House of Representatives will vote this month on legislation to admit Washington D.C. as the 51st state this month, according to a letter from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer obtained by CBS News.

The House is expected to take up the effort once again after voting last year to approve D.C. statehood by a 232-180 vote.

Then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the bill from making it to the Senate.

This time, Democrats are in control and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed to bring the bill to a vote.

The bill would grant D.C.’s 700,000 residents two senators and a voting representative in the House while leaving the area surrounding the White House, Capitol, and National Mall as a federal capital district.

Filibuster looms:

Though the bill is expected to get a vote this time around, Republicans are expected to filibuster the measure over opposition to a heavily Democratic and Black area getting two senators.

If admitted, D.C. would be the only state with a plurality-Black population.

The Senate version of the House bill has 38 cosponsors in the Senate and President Joe Biden has said he would back the bill.

Some Democrats have called for the Senate to eliminate the filibuster and vote on the bill with a simple majority but West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have already ruled out such a move.

DC statehood popularity gains:

Support for D.C. statehood has gained steam in recent years.

A recent poll found that 54% of likely voters believe D.C. should be a state.

But the support largely falls down party lines with 74% of Democrats supporting statehood compared to just 34% of Republicans.


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