Should Washington, D.C. become a state? | The Tylt

Should Washington, D.C. become a state?

After decades of work, advocates for Washington, D.C. statehood have finally seen movement in Congress. D.C. currently pays federal taxes, yet has no voting representative in Congress. Opponents to statehood, however, say the Founding Fathers left the District under federal control on purpose. Many Republicans also worry D.C. would be predominantly Democratic, introducing two new Democratic Senators into Congress. What do you think?

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In response to the momentum the statehood movement is gaining in Congress—lead by Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's non-voting Congressional delegate and Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave an interview comparing the statehood movement to "full bore socialism."

They plan to make the District of Columbia a state — that’d give them two new Democratic senators — Puerto Rico a state, that would give them two more new Democratic senators. And as a former Supreme Court clerk yourself, you’ve surely noticed that they plan to expand the Supreme Court. So this is full bore socialism on the march in the House. And yeah, as long as I’m the majority leader of the Senate, none of that stuff is going anywhere.
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Paul Waldman, an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post, decried McConnell's rationale, accusing him of blatant political bias.

[W]e all know what the real problem is: As McConnell said, if D.C. became a state, then it would get two senators, and they’d inevitably be Democrats.
You’ll notice that McConnell doesn’t even bother to make an argument based on principle. It would be bad for his party and good for the other party, so it must never happen.
Of course, that’s perfectly in line with the broad anti-democratic agenda Republicans have been pursuing, which includes ruthless gerrymandering and an entire menu of voter suppression efforts aimed largely at keeping African Americans from the polls. And if you think that D.C. would have been a state long before now if it weren’t half African American, you’re probably right.
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Norton and Hoyer are joined in their fight for statehood by D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. Bowser declined to comment personally on McConnell's statements to the Washington Post, but her spokeswoman reaffirmed her commitment to gaining full statehood.

“D.C. statehood is the civil rights issue of our time and embodies our nation’s founding democratic principle: the right to vote,” spokeswoman LaToya Foster said. “Our 700,000 residents, who pay taxes, fight in war, and have all the other obligations of citizenship, deserve and have earned representation in the House and Senate.”
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Not only do residents of the District pay federal taxes, Congress maintains an outsized ability to influence policy in the city. Per NBC News:

D.C. residents and the city government have fought for decades for greater political autonomy.
In 1963, residents won the right to vote in presidential elections. But its sole delegate to Congress can't vote on bills — a fact highlighted by the snarky slogan on Washington license plates: "Taxation without representation."
Congress even meddles in local affairs, using its power over the city's budget to block policies it doesn’t like, such as marijuana legalization, which passed overwhelmingly by referendum in 2014.
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Some opponents to statehood cite the Founding Fathers' original intentions in maintaining a capitol city that is outside the control of residents. As Vox explains, the Founders hoped to avoid legislative conflicts of interest.

Opponents of statehood argue the Founding Fathers always intended Washington, DC, to remain under federal control. Article I of the Constitution states, "The Congress shall have Power … To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States."
"It's a company town, and the company is government," Roger Pilon of the libertarian Cato Institute told the Washington Post. "That's not a state."
James Madison, one of the founders, argued in the Federalist Papers that the federal government needs control of the nation's capital so it can maintain policies that fit federal lawmakers' needs. Madison was particularly concerned that a single state could impose control over Congress by managing its security needs and other accommodations.
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Full statehood is not the only solution being proposed to deal with D.C.'s representation issue. Some, including D.C. residents like David Krucoff, advocate for D.C. to be absorbed by bordering states like Maryland or Virginia. Per the DCist:

“For D.C., you get a congressperson, you get to have senators, and you get to have home rule—you get everything you want,” he says. “The gain for residents of the state of Maryland is a little bit tougher, but not too tough. D.C. is a $45 billion economy. Why would you not want to have these things within the confines of your state?”
Another benefit, he says, would be that D.C. could shrink the size of its local government. “The DMV is a perfect example. There’s a Maryland DMV and a D.C. DMV. Guess what? Now we only have to have one DMV,” he says, before clarifying, “I’m not trying to take jobs away from people who work in the city. I’m trying to give people in D.C. their rights.”
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should Washington, D.C. become a state?
#MakeDCAStateNow
A festive crown for the winner
#NoDCStatehood