Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51), a bill to admit the State of Washington, D.C. into the Union and provide District of Columbia residents with full voting rights.
The State of Washington, D.C. would include most of the District of Columbia’s existing territory, except for a significantly reduced federal district controlled by Congress.
“One of the most galling examples of disenfranchisement in America can be found in our nation’s capital, where D.C. residents have been denied full voting rights and self-government for more than 219 years,” said Congressman Sarbanes, a vocal advocate for D.C. Statehood. “Today’s historic vote is a critical step forward in our effort to ensure that D.C. residents – more than 700,000 of our fellow citizens – have their voices heard in our democracy.”
Sarbanes, the author of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, continued: “As our first order of business last year, House Democrats introduced and passed H.R. 1 – a transformative anti-corruption and clean elections bill that also declared support for D.C. Statehood and demanded full citizenship rights for D.C. residents. H.R. 1’s passage marked the first time in history that a chamber of Congress endorsed D.C. statehood. And today, we followed through on that commitment by passing legislation to finally admit the State of Washington, D.C. into the Union.”