Common Cause is urging every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote “yes” on the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51) when it goes to a floor vote today. The legislation would make Washington, DC the 51st state in the nation. The letter notes that Common Cause plans to key-vote final passage of H.R. 51 in our next Democracy Scorecard, which we send to our 1.5 million members.
The letter emphasizes that the more than 700,000 residents of DC have never had voting representatives in the United States Congress, despite the fact residents have fought and died in every war in our nation’s history. The letter goes on to stress that DC residents have been treated as second-class citizens even though they pay the highest per-capita federal income taxes in the nation and pay more in total federal income tax than 22 states.
“Every American deserves a voice in our government. But Washington, DC, residents have been denied representation, and equal opportunities to participate, to vote, and have their voices fully heard for far too long,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “The residents of our nation’s capital host our federal government, yet they are subjected to taxation without representation in that very government. This DC statehood bill is at its core a civil rights and social justice issue. It cannot be overlooked that it is a majority-white Congress that has for too long denied the city’s majority-Black and Brown residents a voice in their own government. Congress must bring this injustice to an end, and we commend Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Hoyer for their leadership on this effort.”
The legislation has more than 200 co-sponsors in the House. Companion legislation in the Senate, S. 51, .is supported by nearly half of Senators, a record high.
To read the full letter, click here.