United States: Washington, DC strives to be the 51st state in the Union | international

They defend Washington, DC becoming the 51st state in the Union, in front of a mural by Martin Luther King.Michael Reynolds / Effie

The flags of the United States that flew a group of Washington city residents on Monday in front of the Capitol building did not contain 50 classic stars – one for each state – but 51. From Mayor Muriel Bowser to activists dedicated to the District of Columbia (DC) cause to become the 51st state in Al-Ittihad, chanted the slogan “State Now”. Stasha Rhodes, Campaign manager 51 versus 51 The advocacy group that advocates Washington become a state sees the District of Columbia as much more than a political machine. “Many Americans believe that the capital is where the Capitol, the White House, or the National Mall are,” he explained in an interview on NPR. “But what they don’t think about or pay attention to is the 700,000 Washington citizens who can’t reach all of that democracy that surrounds them.”

There are many examples that show, for defenders of the state, the need to transform the capital into a state: to what extent has it reacted badly to the epidemic; Former President Donald Trump orders the deployment of the National Guard during the peaceful protests of the black rights movement; Unpreparedness and rapid response to the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building. There is no governor in the county, and his representative in Congress does not have the right to vote.

And the actor repeated that on Monday, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Who has been fighting for statehood for nearly three decades, since 1993 introduced a bill in Congress that, despite promoting the first debate on the issue on Capitol Hill, was defeated by an overwhelming majority: 277 votes to 153.

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Norton never stopped fighting, and on June 26, in a historic vote, the House of Representatives agreed to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state in the Union. The end result was 232-180.

Faced with the euphoria of Democrats and Washington, the Republican Party described the decision as a maneuver to obtain more political power from the Democratic Party, because automatically – due to the political composition of the region – the Democrats will add two more senators in the upper house. Statehood will undoubtedly change the dynamics of the Senate as members of conservative rural states can exert a disproportionate influence over voting, federal courts, and presidential nominations.

Opponents of the change in status argue that the founding fathers wanted to clearly separate the capital from the rest of the states. It was the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia that ceded the land in the 1880s to create a federal capital along the Potomac River. Thus Washington, the District of Columbia, became the permanent capital of the United States in 1790. The new state would be called the Washington Douglas Commonwealth, named after the country’s first president, George Washington, and the prominent advocate of abolishing the death penalty of blacks, Frederick Douglass.

On Monday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing to hear arguments about why Washington, D.C., deserves statehood. And the head of such a commission, Caroline Maloney, declared that adding the capital as another country “should not be about politics or not, but rather equality and democracy.” In his view, “It is the responsibility of Congress to ensure that all Americans fully enjoy the rights set forth in the Constitution.”

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The bill, known as HR 51, seeks “fairness and justice,” as Norton puts it, especially when Washington pays more taxes than at least 22 other states and contribute more. To the individual For the federal government more than any other jurisdiction, yet “they do not have a vote in Congress.”

County car license plates are notorious for claiming their slogan: “Taxes Without Representation.” Rhodes, from 51 to 51, considers leaving 700,000 citizens, most of them black and Latino, without a vote in Congress as a matter of “racism.” “Residents of the capital pay federal taxes and serve in the military, and yet they don’t have a voice in Congress,” says activist Rhodes. “It’s an injustice, and frankly, a disgrace to America’s democracy.”

President Joe Biden spoke in favor of the country during the last election campaign for the White House. The democratic dream of the capital being the 51st state will conflict with the reality of procrastination when it reaches the Senate and require a majority of 60 votes to pass the bill. The Senate is 50/50 in composition after the last election, with the final vote in the hands of Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris. That is why there are those who say that the law was born dead. However, the mayor of the city assures that the historical error will be corrected. “I was born here without a vote [en el Congreso]But I swear I will not die here without a vote. “

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Sacha Woodward

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