Sarbanes Renews Push for D.C. Statehood [Video]
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) reaffirmed his unwavering support for H.R. 51, a bill to admit the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth into the Union and finally provide full voting rights to District of Columbia residents.
“I want to thank Congresswoman Holmes Norton for her really indefatigable – that means she never got fatigued – leadership over so many years, certainly over the last two Congresses, in pushing this legislation forward,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who strongly backed H.R. 51 and voted to pass it in the last Congress. “It's a credit to her, the coalition and the District of Columbia – and all of those who've stepped forward.”
Sarbanes continued: “There's been a lot of back and forth on the constitutional questions … but here's some of the phrases that [Mayor Bowser] shared with us: ‘The need to extend full democracy to the residents of the District of Columbia; the right to full representation in Congress; the fact that the disenfranchisement of Washingtonians is one of the most glaring remaining civil rights issues of our times.’ That's not an overstatement. That's an accurate recognition of the situation.”
Sarbanes concluded: “This is a problem that we have to solve. And what Eleanor Holmes Norton has put forward is that solution: statehood for the District of Columbia. We just need to get it done.”
See below for a video of the Congressman’s remarks.
See here for more information about H.R. 51.
See here for bill text.