Students and staff debate D.C. statehood

D.C. continues to make a push for statehood. On April 22, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would officially grant statehood to the District of Columbia. The bill passed with a vote of 216-208, and will now have to obtain a 60% majority in the Senate to move forward to the President and be signed into law.
The push for D.C. to become the 51st state has been discussed before, however, this is just the second time the bill has been passed through the House and will reach the Senate floor.

“D.C. becoming a state would include addressing racial inequities and expand voting rights, both of which are extremely important,” sophomore Ellie Davis said.
The District currently has an estimated population of over 700,000 people, more than states like Wyoming and Vermont. While also paying more federal taxes than 21 other U.S. states.
This bill would be a huge boost to the Democratic party moving forward in National Elections. In the 2020 Presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden gained over 90% of the total votes, compared to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s 5%.
“This shouldn’t be a political debate in my opinion, D.C. pays money in taxes, a significant amount more than some other states, yet they have no representation in Congress. To me, that feels like taxation without representation, and that isn’t fair at all,” sophomore Kaleia Cook said.
The bill has been heavily criticized by Republicans, as it passed through the House of Representatives without gaining a single Republican vote. A main concern for conservatives has been the overwhelming amount of democratic support in D.C., and that this will become an automatic two Senate seats for Democrats in the future.
The bill was shot down in the Senate in 2020, and will need to overcome huge odds to pass through this time around. Due to the filibuster in place, 60 out of 100 votes is required to pass the legislation, and with a 50-50 tie in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats, the bill is unlikely to pass considering no Republicans in the House voted for the bill.
“The creation of new states in America has always been a very politically charged issue. I believe that everyone in a country should have a legitimate and equal vote in their legislatures,” government teacher Matthew O’Neill said.
The timeline for the Senate voting on the bill is unknown.