WASHINGTON — The Biden Administration announced Tuesday that they fully support D.C.'s push to become the 51st state of the United States, according to a statement released by the Executive Office of the President.
"The Administration calls for the Congress to provide for a swift and orderly transition to statehood for the people of Washington D.C.," the letter stated.
Establishing the District of Colombia as a 51st state means full representation in Congress and the opportunity for residents of the city to have equal participation in the country's democracy, the administration said. And in the words of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, this move will bring an end to the disenfranchisement of more than 700,000 Americans who live in the District.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a markup of H.R. 51 (the Washington, D.C. Admission Act) and voted 25-19 to advance the bill out of committee. Under the bill, D.C. would be renamed Washington Douglass Commonwealth, named after Frederick Douglass.
Read the full statement below:
In a Senate that's frequently deadlocked between parties, representation for D.C. could tilt the balance in Democrats' favor. For that to happen, the statehood bill must first pass both the House and Senate, something it's never done before.
In 2020, the House passed a similar statehood bill but the Senate declined to take up the legislation. The Senate version of the D.C. Statehood bill is likely going to need the support of every single Democrat unless a Republican were to cross the aisle and support it.
The last state to officially join the U.S. was Hawaii, back in 1959. Here's what the timeline looked like:
- March 11, 1959 : Senate voted 75-15 in favor of the Admissions Act
- March 12, 1959: House approved as well 323-89
- March 18, 1959: President Dwight Eisenhower signed the “Hawaii Admissions Act."
- June 1959: Hawaiians voted to become a state “under terms specified in the Admissions Act" to accept the statehood bill.
- August 21, 1959: Hawaii officially became a state