DC statehood faces a crossroads with congressional vote

Posted at 3:29 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 06:40:15-04

Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C., face a milestone moment in their decades-long movement to reshape the American political map.

The House will vote Thursday on legislation that would create the new state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, with one representative and two senators.

A tiny sliver of land including the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall would remain as a federal district.

The measure is expected to pass easily in the House and be sent to the Senate, where the real fight awaits in the evenly divided chamber.

The district has a population of more than 700,000 people, larger than the population of Wyoming or Vermont.

Some Republicans have suggested retroceding the district into Maryland as a compromise, which would theoretically provide district residents with a voting representative in the House, but would not add two new senators. Senator Mitt Romney expressed support for this proposal Tuesday.

But this solution is unpopular with residents of the District and of Maryland.