Voting Rights and Democracy

RELEASE: CAC Hails Passage of H.R. 51, The Washington, D.C. Admission Act

WASHINGTON – On today’s passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of H.R. 51—the Washington, D.C. Admission Act—Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following statement:  

Constitutional Accountability Center applauds today’s House passage of the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, the outcome of tireless work from countless advocates in the DistrictLet us congratulate Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, in particular, whose inspiring leadership—spanning decades—has paved the way for today’s historic vote. 

D.C. statehood is long overdue. D.C. residents contribute to our national societypay taxes, serve in the military, and so much more. They outnumber the residents of both Wyoming and Vermont—two states Congress admitted into the Union by simple legislation. But unlike the citizens of Wyoming and Vermont, D.C. residents cannot elect members of Congress with full voting power or have full control over local affairs. D.C. residents deserve to be on equal footing with the residents of Wyoming, Vermont, and the other 48 states. The residents of D.C. asked Congress for this equality in 2016, passing a referendum expressing their desire for statehood. 

The bill is an exercise of Congress’s express constitutional power to add new states to our nation by enacting simple legislation and to adjust the borders of the seat of governmentpowers it has used repeatedly throughout historyConsistent with the principles upon which this country was founded, the Senate should now take up this bill and pass the Washington, D.C. Admission Act to give D.C. residents full voting rights, meaningful political representation in Congress, and control over their local affairs.

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Resources:

CAC letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in support of H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, March 23, 2021: https://www.theusconstitution.org/testimony/cac-statement-h-r-51-washington-d-c-admission-act/

#PurpleChairChat Episode 12: D.C. Statehood: Why Representation Matters, CAC video conversation featuring Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Councilmember Christina Henderson, and CAC President Elizabeth Wydra, February 25, 2021: https://www.theusconstitution.org/blog/purplechairchat-episode-12-d-c-statehood-why-representation-matters/

“Washington D.C.’s Second-Class Status is a Stain on Our Democracy,” David Gans, CAC Blog, February 3, 2021: https://www.theusconstitution.org/blog/washington-d-c-s-second-class-status-is-a-stain-on-our-democracy/

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Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.

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