Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) on Monday announced he’s reintroducing a bill to grant statehood to the nation’s capital.
“The rumors are true! I’m introducing the #DCStatehood bill in the Senate this week,” Carper wrote on Twitter.
Carper has led previous efforts to get the bill through in the Senate in partnership with the District of Columbia’s nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), whose name on Twitter is Eleanor “#DCStatehood” Holmes Norton.
Norton and advocates have long been pushing for statehood for Washington, D.C., and Norton has said the measure is “the most important bill I introduce each Congress.”
The bill passed the House for the first time in 2020 and again in 2021 but hasn’t made it through the Senate to get to the president’s desk. Norton brought the bill forward in the lower chamber again just days after the 118th Congress convened earlier this month.
“Congress has a moral obligation and the constitutional authority to pass this bill. This country was founded on the principles of no taxation without representation and consent of the governed, but D.C. residents are taxed without representation and cannot consent to the laws under which they, as American citizens, must live,” Norton said when she introduced the bill.
Still, the bill may have even bleaker prospects this year. The GOP controls the House majority, and no Republican voted for the statehood bill in 2020 or 2021. In the Senate, Democrats would need at least nine Republican votes to break a filibuster.
The district is home to around 700,000 residents, a population bigger than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. Pro-statehood advocates feel the population should have a voting voice in Congress, while the proposal’s largely Republican opponents feel the D.C. statehood push is a play for more Democratic control.
Carper and Norton are set to hold a press conference on the bill Tuesday, with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) also set to make remarks.