Biden Administration Supports D.C. Statehood, Defying Past Democrat Administrations’ Believing it Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 26: Newly confirmed Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young participates in a ceremonial swearing-in administered by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building March 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Biden administration threw its support behind statehood for Washington, DC on Tuesday, bucking previous Democrat administrations’ legal determinations of unconstitutionality.

The Office of Management and Budget, under Acting Director Shalanda Young (pictured), issued a statement, reading in part, “For far too long, the more than 700,000 people of Washington, D.C. have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress.”

“This taxation without representation and denial of self-governance is an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded,” it reads.

“Establishing the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state will make our Union stronger and more just,” it continued.

“Washington, D.C. has a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy … The Administration strongly supports H.R. 51,” it concludes before calling on Congress to act swiftly and “orderly” to do so.

Breitbart News reported legal scholars and two Democrat administrations have opposed “D.C. statehood’s feasibility without a Constitutional amendment to the 23rd Amendment. The Office of Legal Counsel in 2007 believed it was unconstitutional, the Justice Department under former President Reagan and former President Carter stated the transformation was unconstitutional, and so did Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, when he sat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Not only that, “Twenty-two state Attorneys General have sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Congress arguing Washington, D.C., cannot transition into a state via legislation, but only through the method of a Constitutional amendment,” Breitbart News reported.

According to the Heritage Foundation, the primary arguments against D.C. statehood are:

  1. Our nation’s capital was always meant to be unique. The Framers established in the Constitution’s District Clause that the nation’s capital is a federal district, existing beyond the borders or influence of any state.
  2. H.R. 51 is doubly unconstitutional, violating both the plain meaning of the District Clause as well as the necessary implications of the Twenty-Third Amendment.
  3. Even those who support D.C. statehood admit district residents enjoy special benefits due to where they live and would enjoy an outsize influence in Congress.

The full House vote on the legislation was scheduled for Tuesday but was moved to Thursday when House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) tweeted, “I expect to bring #HR51 to the House Floor for a vote on Thursday, April 22 to grant #DCStatehood to the more than 700,000 residents of the District of Columbia. The voice of every American citizen deserves to be heard – it’s past time that we make statehood a reality for DC.”

The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), voted the bill out of committee by a vote of 25-19 on April 16.

The bill is among the radical proposals the Democrats initiated in Biden’s first 100 days, which include: packing the Supreme Court, mass amnesty, reparations, federalized elections, D.C. statehood, and banning the Electoral College.

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