D.C. statehood will get a vote in the the U.S. House of Representatives next month, the District's mayor announced Thursday.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee is set to mark up and vote on H.R. 51, a bill that would make D.C. the 51st state, on Feb. 11.
The announcement was made Thursday at a press conference at the African American Civil War Museum, a location that symbolizes a historical fight for citizenship. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and House Oversight Chair Carolyn B. Maloney spoke.
This announcement follows a Sept. 19 House Oversight committee hearing with D.C. officials and residents, which “definitively showed that H.R. 51 is constitutional,” Norton said Thursday.
“The new state, which contributes more in federal taxes than 22 current states do today, would be fully able to support itself,” she said.
“We are not begging, we are not beggars,” said Bowser. “We demand statehood for Washington, D.C.”
Maloney shared a 2007 article on Twitter demonstrating the long-standing fight for proper representation for D.C. residents.
The most recent version of the bill, which was introduced in the House in January 2019, earned the support of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“Democrats will restore every American’s right to be heard at the ballot box," Pelosi said in a statement earlier this month. "Whether they are citizens of our nation’s capital or live in historically marginalized communities across the country, Democrats are working to pass bold, ambitious legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act, finally grant full voting rights and statehood to the District of Columbia and bring back integrity to Washington to ensure our government works everyone.”
In September 2019, a commercial promoting statehood for the District aired, featuring U.S. Army veteran Antoinette Scott.
"What we're talking about is 702,000 Americans," Bowser said when the ad aired. "People in the District didn't have any say in whether we should go to war. We have no say on who sits on the Supreme Court."