White House announces formal support for D.C. statehood bill

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The White House on Tuesday formally announced the Biden administration’s support for legislation moving through the House that would make Washington, D.C., the country’s 51st state.

“For far too long, the more than 700,000 people of Washington, D.C., have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement of administration policy.

The “taxation without representation” and “denial of self-governance” is an affront to the country’s democratic values, the statement said.

The Democratic-controlled House is set to vote this week on the legislation, which would grant one House member and two U.S. senators to the District.

The state would be renamed the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth in honor of civil rights icon Frederick Douglass.

Federal buildings would remain outside of the state’s territory.

The House also passed legislation last year to make D.C. a state, but it wasn’t taken up by the Senate, then controlled by Republicans.

The GOP opposes the measure, saying it’s little more than an attempt to shore up Democrats’ power in Congress by adding representation to the deep-blue city.

The bill is unlikely to achieve the 60 votes needed to thwart a possible filibuster in the 50-50 Senate. 

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