President Donald Trump and Republican senators came out against a Washington DC statehood bill that the House plans to approve on Friday, The Washington Post reports.
The House is expected to vote on the issue for the first time since 1993. The bill is expected to pass down party lines.
Democrats say the district’s 705,000 residents deserve voting rights and representation in Congress. Democrats noted that DC residents pay more federal taxes than 22 states.
The bill has 226 co-sponsors in the House and 40 in the Senate.
“My great-grandfather Richard Holmes, who escaped as a slave from a Virginia plantation, made it as far as D.C., a walk to freedom but not to equal citizenship,” said non-voting DC Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. “For three generations my family has been denied the rights other Americans take for granted.”
GOP rejects bill:
Mitch McConnell said he would not even bring the bill up for a vote in the Senate, effectively killing any chances of it being approved.
Even if Democrats win a majority in the chamber in November, they would still need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said the bill would be an “act of historical vandalism.”
“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 other words, Wyoming is a well-rounded working-class state.”
Cotton said DC would not provide any “vital industry” to the country.
“Lobbying? Bureaucracy? Give me a break,” Cotton said.
“Job shaming! Awesome! I’m in. Great idea. This CANNOT go wrong. Let’s rank the virtue of every profession and if your state has too many workers in the bottom 20% you get kicked out of America. Who wants to start??” replied Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy.
“DC residents are Americans who pay federal taxes and they shouldn’t get screwed just because Tom Cotton doesn’t think they have the right jobs,” said Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz.
Trump vows to veto:
The White House formally came out against the bill on Wednesday.
"D.C. will never be a state," Trump said last month. "You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic—Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No thank you. That'll never happen."