The US democracy is slowly standing up after the elections. The house and senate are now taking to their regular business. The Biden administration is slowly unfolding its plans. Recently, the House passed a bill that would make Washington DC the 51 st state of the nation. But the bill faces strong Republican opposition in the Senate.
The Bill, Its Motives
The proposal to make the Washington DC is supported by President Biden and the Democratic Party. The demand was once considered a fringe cause pushed by area locals. Now a vast majority of Democratic lawmakers on record are in support of statehood for the nation’s capital.
The bill promises full statehood to Washington DC. It also promises the state two Senate seats and a proportional share in the House.
Despite all this, the bill was cleared from the House with 216-208 votes along party lines. The bill passed is considered by proponents a long overdue to equality of citizens of the capital. While the opponents argue that it is a naked power grab attempt. The future of the bill remains uncertain with huge Republican opposition in an equally divided Senate.
The Heated Debate in the House
The house finally passed the bill after almost ninety minutes of debate. During the debate, the Democrats argued on the moral imperative to grant full federal representation to Washington residents. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the House would finally address the unjust, unequal and undemocratic situation.
The Republicans described the bill as a blatant bid to consolidate the Democrat power. Their assumption is based on the fact that Washington DC has a high proportion of liberals. With DC becoming a state, the Republicans are almost certain to lose the two senate seats from the state.
The Way Ahead
The road ahead seems very grim for the bill until the legislative filibuster is in place. With most of the republicans still wary of the proposal to make DC a state. Some opponents, however, have proposed an alternative in the form of retrocession, which would have the neighboring state of Maryland absorb most of Washington. Thus, it needs to be seen what will happen to the fate of DC.
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