With a vote expected today, Common Cause is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the “Washington, DC Admission Act” (HR 51) to give residents of the nation’s capital a full say in the governing of the nation. In a letter to every member of the House yesterday, Common Cause emphasized the legislation is about more than having voting Members of Congress, it is about the more than 700,000 Americans residing in Washington having a voice and being heard.
“Representative democracy means representation and a voice in the governing of our nation for every American, not for everyone except the nearly three-quarters of a million Americans residing in the District of Columbia,” said Aaron Scherb, Common Cause Director of Legislative Affairs. “Washingtonians have been treated as second-class citizens by Congress since the city’s founding. ‘Taxation without representation’ is not just a catchphrase from our license plates, it is our reality in the District of Columbia. We have been denied a seat at the table of our democracy for far too long, and the Washington, DC Admission Act will bring an end to this longstanding injustice.”
The letter points out that Washington, D.C. residents have fought and died in every war which the nation has waged, yet been denied the privileges and freedoms of other Americans. Residents of the nation’s capital pay the highest per capita federal income taxes in the nation, and their total tax payments to the United States Treasury exceed the totals of 22 of the 50 states. And the total population of the city exceeds those of the states of Vermont (by more than 80,000 people) and Wyoming (by more than 125,000 people).
The findings language for D.C. Statehood is included in the For the People Act (H.R. 1), and every House Democrat is on record supporting that legislation. Common Cause has informed Congress that it has included HR 51 in its forthcoming 2020 Democracy Scorecard. Companion legislation in the United States Senate has already gained more than 40 cosponsors.
To read the full letter to House members, click here.