STATEMENT: Statehood for Washington, D.C. Is Long Overdue, CAP’s Neera Tanden Says

Washington, D.C. — After the U.S. House of Representatives today approved a measure granting statehood to Washington, D.C., Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

For too long, residents of Washington, D.C., have been deprived of the representation in Congress they deserve. The city has more residents than two other states and its citizens pay federal taxes, yet they have no say in how these tax dollars are spent. Its citizens sacrifice their lives in war, but the district has no vote in whether to go to war.

Racism has unfortunately played an ugly role in the decadeslong denial of statehood for D.C., as some lawmakers claimed the city couldn’t be trusted to govern itself. As the country faces a national reckoning on systemic racial discrimination, it was deeply disturbing to see the president use federal officers and National Guard troops to crack down on peaceful demonstrators in the city. The district’s government should have full authority to govern its people when it comes to local decisions without undue interference from Congress and the president. It’s time to admit Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, as our 51st state so that D.C. residents can gain the full voting rights guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution.

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