The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday, April 22, for a bill that would recognize Washington, D.C., as the 51st state, reports CBS News.
The publication notes, however, that such a measure could fail in the Senate. The bill was passed along party lines, with 216 votes in favor and 208 against. At the same time, not a single Republican cast a vote for the adoption of such a document.
According to CBS News, supporters of the bill support the decision, according to which the District of Columbia can become the 51st state of the United States, due to the fact that without it, residents of Washington are deprived of many rights. Including representation in Congress.
The District has a population of more than 700,000, which is more than the population of the states of Wyoming or Vermont. However, these two states each have two senators and a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, while Eleanor Holmes Norton represents the District of Columbia in Congress as a non-voting delegate.
That said, according to IRS 2019 data, D.C. residents pay more federal taxes than the 21 states. Nevertheless, the District has the same responsibilities as all U.S. territorial units.
CBS News specifies that the law, called H.R. 51, would create Washington state as the Douglass Commonwealth, named for the American writer Frederick Douglass. This, in turn, would allow county residents to take advantage of all the opportunities the rest of the state has.
In 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the District of Columbia state measure. At that time, 232 people voted in favor of the bill against 180 nationals. However, the measure did not gain traction in the Senate, which was then controlled by Republicans. At the moment, despite the number of Democrats in the Senate, the issue of recognizing D.C. as a state remains difficult, as this circumstance could affect the course of further elections in the United States.
Becoming the 51st state will definitely change the balance of power in the U.S. Congress.