Should Washington, D.C. be the 51st State?

Should Washington, D.C. become a state?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • No

    Votes: 11 61.1%
  • I don't know

    Votes: 3 16.7%

  • Total voters
    18
Dec 2018
6,976
4,584
the Heart of America
This question pops up politically every now and again, most recently a few weeks ago: "Should Washington, D.C. be the 51st state?"

I say a firm "No", but it's a matter of debate as noted in the link below. The second link notes that H.R. 51 only has a 4% chance of passing. Good!

The U.S. House of Representatives will hold the first hearing on D.C. statehood in 26 years this Thursday. It's the first in a series of steps needed to accomplish one goal: Pass H.R. 51, or the Washington, D.C. Admission Act.

H.R. 51, introduced by non-voting Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) in January, makes D.C. the 51st state. The bill creates the 51st state from the District’s eight wards, giving more than 700,000 residents the same rights citizens living in the other 50 states already have, including two senators and at least one representative. Territories such as the U.S. Capitol, monuments, and the National Mall would remain under federal jurisdiction
.


 
Dec 2018
6,976
4,584
the Heart of America
No. It would mess up the symmetric pattern of stars on the flag.
...more importantly, it would give the citizens of Washington, D.C. undue access and power.

Now, if they broke off the WH and Congress, then made the rest of D.C. parts of Virginia and Maryland, the citizens would be in a state but without the problems of making Washington, D.C. a state.
 

Singularity

Moderator
Oct 2009
33,678
28,413
Kansas
Yes. Washingtonians have developed a distinct political and cultural identity from Maryland, and the district contains more people than Wyoming and Vermont, respectively.

If made a state, Washington would probably elect two members to the House of Representatives and two Senators, which would give it no more political power than the two states, which each possess fewer residents than the district, while at the same time gently evening out the balance of power in the Senate between urbanized and rural states.

Aside from the straight-up political hurdles of passing D.C. statehood through Congress, the "old district," (Alexandria et. al.) would today have high incentives to want to reunify with the current district and join the new state. That would require the consent of Virginia's legislature, not just Congress. Yet rural/conservative Virginians would gain from moving a good chunk of the liberal urban elites out of their borders, and the economic activity the creation of a new state would bring to the whole region would be worthwhile.

The national GOP can be expected to fight the creation of a D.C. state tooth and nail to preserve their advantage in the Senate. But really that's just another reason to do it. They have an unfair advantage that is going to result in more Senate majorities that going forward, do no represent most Americans, if nothing is done.
 

Singularity

Moderator
Oct 2009
33,678
28,413
Kansas
...more importantly, it would give the citizens of Washington, D.C. undue access and power.

Now, if they broke off the WH and Congress, then made the rest of D.C. parts of Virginia and Maryland, the citizens would be in a state but without the problems of making Washington, D.C. a state.
Virginia already owns all parts of "Washington" that are south of the Potomac.
 
May 2016
4,213
1,107
california
No, absolutely not. So they probably will. But I'd suggest they incorporate a couple of states to keep the fifty star pattern on the flag. Delaware with Maryland, or RI with Connecticut, something like that.
 

Rasselas

Moderator
Feb 2010
71,820
49,086
USA
Yet neither Virginia or Maryland can claim to own the Capital or the White House. There's the difference.
Neither can the District. The relationships between federal and District law enforcement are complicated. The Capitol has its own police. The White House has the Secret Service. Much of DC is covered by the Park Service Police (like the inside of Dupont Circle, for example, or the Mall) and none of that federal property is taxable. For federal facilities that are covered by DC police, the federal government makes a negotiated payment to the District. So the idea that the Capitol or the WH or any other federal property is "owned" by the district is a little dubious.
 

CtC

Mar 2019
10,564
3,686
California
This question pops up politically every now and again, most recently a few weeks ago: "Should Washington, D.C. be the 51st state?"

I say a firm "No", but it's a matter of debate as noted in the link below. The second link notes that H.R. 51 only has a 4% chance of passing. Good!

The U.S. House of Representatives will hold the first hearing on D.C. statehood in 26 years this Thursday. It's the first in a series of steps needed to accomplish one goal: Pass H.R. 51, or the Washington, D.C. Admission Act.

H.R. 51, introduced by non-voting Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) in January, makes D.C. the 51st state. The bill creates the 51st state from the District’s eight wards, giving more than 700,000 residents the same rights citizens living in the other 50 states already have, including two senators and at least one representative. Territories such as the U.S. Capitol, monuments, and the National Mall would remain under federal jurisdiction
.


No!