Press Releases

Wexton Votes to Pass DC Statehood Legislation

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass H.R. 51, to designate Washington, DC as the 51st state.

"The disenfranchisement of the more than 700,000 residents of Washington, DC is an issue of racial, economic, and democratic injustice,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “DC residents, the majority of whom are Black and brown, pay the highest per-capita federal income taxes in the U.S. and serve in our military but are denied representation in Congress. I’m proud to support statehood for Washington, DC to end taxation without representation for DC residents. It’s time for our neighbors across the Potomac to have the same protections and representation as their fellow American citizens."

The bill would establish the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, made up of the territory of the District of Columbia with specified exclusions of federal buildings and monuments such as the White House and the Capitol Building. The new state will be named in honor of Frederick Douglass, the nation’s foremost abolitionist.

Granting statehood to Washington, DC would provide the more than 700,000 residents of DC with a vote in Congress, as the state would receive one Representative and two Senators. DC residents pay the highest per capita federal income taxes in the country, yet have no say in Congress as to how those tax dollars are spent.

In a 2016 referendum, 86% of Washington, DC residents voted to approve the plan for statehood. DC has drafted a State Constitution, established state boundaries which preserve a smaller federal district, and committed to a republican form of government that is representative, with elected officials on equal footing with the other states in the Union. As these conditions for statehood are fulfilled, a bill must be passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate and be signed into law by the President.

The full text of the bill can be found here.