DC mayor concedes statehood effort is all but dead - for now

DC mayor concedes statehood effort is all but dead - for now

Blake Casey
November 12, 2016

While D.C. came out overwhelmingly in favor of a statehood referendum, getting it enacted was always a long shot.

The proposed 51st state would grant residents full congressional representation under a new state Constitution, which will be written per the referendum. She did not know how many voters were affected. Only those living in states get voting representatives in the U.S. House and Senate. "We pay federal taxes like we're a state".

The petition now moves to Congress, which has can approve or deny the initiative.

But in interviews with dozens of voters Tuesday, it was clear that Gray may first have to validate his return to the council with constituents.

Also on Tuesday, voters chose six members of the 13-member D.C. Council, including former Mayor Vincent Gray, who was mayor from 2011 to 2015 and will represent his home ward on the council. Trump, too, has said that while he doesn't support statehood, a vote in the House for the District "would be OK". Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution advises that "Congress shall have Power to. exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District.as may, by Cession of particular states, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States". Williams says Gray "has a good track record".

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Asked about the prospects for the referendum now that both Congress and the White House will be controlled by Republicans, Bowser struck a bipartisan tone.

Tuesday's vote on a statehood referendum provides the most intrigue to a sleepy general election in the nation's capital, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 12-to-1.

But faced the next day with the reality that D.C. will soon begin preparations for a Trump inauguration, Bowser said her hope for "full equality" and a vote in Congress for the District would have to wait, again, for a better political environment. Hillary Clinton is expected to easily win the District's three electoral votes.

"Partisan politics have long made D.C. statehood a non-starter with Republicans in Congress. ..." Up until the mid-1960s, it really was governed, nearly directly, by "District" committees of the House and Senate; but after 1967, and again in 1973, when limited home-rule legislation was enacted, Washington gained a measure of self-government, including an elected mayor, council, and school board, and a non-voting member of Congress. The current district has only a non-voting member in the House of Representatives. "Says who?' Then after you get that big enthusiastic vote, then D.C.is on a roll to continue the kind of fight it needs to make".