During a momentous House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing today on the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51), Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) offered his full support for D.C. statehood and the people of the District of Columbia.
“This is a historic day and I want to congratulate the District of Columbia,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I want to thank all the advocates and city officials who’ve come here today and have stayed for the entire hearing to demonstrate their support for D.C. statehood.”
Congressman Sarbanes continued: “The Congress of the United States – the House of Representatives, at least – on March 8th this year, the For the People Act. That was the first bill we introduced. A comprehensive effort to restore our democracy with stronger voting opportunities, registration and voting, accountability in government and campaign finance reform. As that bill was coming together, the narrative around it was to give people their voice back. That too many Americans all across the country feel that their voice is not respected, that they don’t have the power in their own democracy that they deserve… It became very clear sthat there needed to be some statement contained within the four corners of H.R. 1 with respect to D.C. statehood, and I want to thank Ms. Norton for pushing very hard for that – to put findings language into H.R. 1 that says that Congress finds that District of Columbia residents deserve full congressional voting rights and self-government, which only statehood can provide. That passed the House of Representatives.”
Sarbanes concluded: “You have moved this campaign, this effort, for D.C. statehood to a new place, and I want to congratulate you for that. It also can be observed that if we can finally achieve this – if we can grant D.C. the statehood that it deserves – it’s not a gift. This is something that the residents of the District of Columbia have earned over the course of their history…. You serve your country. You paid your taxes. This is something that is owed to the residents of the District of Columbia by this nation, and that’s why some of us feel so strongly about it.”