Democratic stronghold without rights: Washington becomes the 51st state


Democratic stronghold without rights

Approach for Washington as the 51st state

The Biden administration currently holds only a wafer-thin majority in both chambers of the US Congress. So the Democrats are daring a new attempt to make the capital the 51st state. But the Republicans are strictly against it: Washington is a Democratic stronghold.

The US House of Representatives has again voted to give the capital Washington the status of a state. The Democratic-controlled Chamber of Congress voted narrowly in favor of a bill that would make Washington, DC, the 51st state in the United States. The chances of success of the project in the Senate are, however, highly uncertain: the conservative Republicans are strictly against the establishment of a new state.

The status of Washington, DC – the DC stands for District of Columbia – has been controversial for a long time. The federal district is neither a state nor a state. The more than 700,000 residents of the capital are therefore not allowed to elect any senators or MPs with voting rights in the US Congress. You only send one MP with observer status.

In contrast, all other states are represented by two senators each and – depending on their population size – a certain number of members of the House of Representatives in the US Congress. Many criticize the current system for the residents of Washington as undemocratic. “It’s about democracy,” said Senate Democratic majority leader Chuck Schumer. “It’s about the right to vote.”

There are also party-political motives behind the debate: the capital is a bastion of the Democrats. If Washington were to win Senate seats and MPs, it would give the Democrats a decisive advantage and harm the Republicans. The House of Representatives voted in favor of the state initiative last year. In view of the Republican majority in the Senate at the time, the project petered out.

Two senatorial seats would make a big difference

As of this year, the Democrats have had a wafer-thin majority in the upper house, which has given new impetus to hopes for a state statute for Washington. However, President Joe Biden’s party would need the votes of at least ten Republican senators to circumvent possible blockade tactics. At the moment, it doesn’t look like Republicans will endorse the scheme.

In the Senate, with its 100 members, there are often very tight majorities – two Senate seats more or less can therefore make a huge difference. The Republicans of ex-President Donald Trump hope to win back a majority in one or both chambers of Congress in the next general election in autumn 2022.

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Killian Jones

Author: Killian Jones
Graduated From Princeton University.He has been at the USTV since 2017.
Function: Chief-Editor

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