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Opposition to making the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) the 51st state in America, but none of them are valid. As of 2019, the area houses the U.S. government and has a reported population of 692,683 people. However, those Americans have the exact representation in government as the territory of Puerto Rico: none.
Republicans like to make the false allegation that allowing statehood to D.C. is unconstitutional. Maybe they should read the Law of the Land.
Those opposed to the people’s Constitutional rights in D.C. cite a memo issued by then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1963, where he allegedly claimed that doing so would require a Constitutional amendment. His daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, set the record straight.
“No one can say for certain the position of someone no longer around to speak for himself,” said Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, “but … I can say with certainty what my father believed in: the equal right of every American to participate fully in our democracy.” Kennedy Townsend added: “Robert Kennedy wanted all D.C. residents to elect their federal representatives — the same as their fellow Americans. He said so repeatedly.”
In 1963, Mr. Kennedy testified before the House Committee on the District of Columbia.
“If we have faith in the strength of our form of government and confidence in our fellow citizens … then it follows that the government of the District will be improved if the officials are responsible to the voters who live here.”
In 1961, the 23rd amendment to the Constitution was ratified by 75 percent of the states. This amendment gave the citizens of D.C. the right to vote in our presidential elections and, in most cases, treated the district as if it were a state. However, the people continue to remain without representation in congress. For years license plates in D.C. contained the message “no taxation without representation.”
There is a provision for the “seat” of our government to be excluded as part of our nation’s 51st state.
Now for the truth, the reason why Republicans will defend their opposition to D.C. statehood forever.
Washington D.C. residents have one of the nation’s highest loyalty rates to the Democratic Party. If D.C. were to become a state, it would have one Representative but two Senators. This would give an edge to Democrats in the senate, once and for all creating an advantage, challenging which party controls the senior body in our nation’s Capitol.
America is more about politics than its people, which translates into money. The people of D.C. are considered second-class citizens by today’s Republicans in name only.
There is a bill in the House today proposing statehood for the District of Columbia. Unfortunately, the H.R. 51 Washington D.C. Admissions Act has very little passage in the Senate after leaving the House. Turncoat Democrat Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, has already stated his opposition.
Ah, America: land of the rich and home of the professional politician. God save everyone.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Congress: H.R.51 – Washington, D.C. Admission Act
Politico: Your All-Purpose Wonk’s Guide to Why D.C. Statehood Is So Hard; by Jeff Greenfield
American Civil Liberties Union: D.C. Statehood is Constitutional. Robert Kennedy Never Said Otherwise. By Kristen Lee and Adriel I. Cepeda Derieux
Top and Featured Image Courtesy Daniel Mennerich’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy Mrs. Airwolfhound Flickr Page – Creative Commons License