Jun 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House votes along party lines to recognize D.C. as a state

DC mayor Bowser speaks at a podium with an American flag behind her.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser holds a press conference on statehood on June 16. Photo: Amanda Voisard for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House voted to recognize Washington, D.C., as a state largely along party lines, 232-180.

Why it matters: The vote marks the first time that either chamber has voted to recognize the District as a state, although the bill is doomed in the Senate.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that the bill will not be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate, Politico reports.
  • President Trump has said Republicans would never agree to giving Democrats more seats in Congress.

What they're saying, via Axios' Alayna Treene: Ahead of Friday’s vote, Pelosi described the “injustice” against D.C.’s residents: “For more than two centuries, the residents of Washington D.C., the District of Columbia, have been denied their right to fully participate in their democracy,” Pelosi said during a news conference.

  • “Instead, they have been dealt the injustice of paying taxes, proudly serving in uniform in great numbers and contributing to the economic power of our nation while being denied the full enfranchisement which is their right.”
  • D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has also been a vocal proponent of the legislation. “Let’s fight back against the cries that we are too liberal or too black or too many Democrats,” she said at a press conference Thursday.

Worth noting: The nation's capital has voted overwhelmingly Democratic in recent years, with Trump picking up around 4% of the vote in 2016. Nearly 86% of D.C. residents supported statehood in the same election.

Go deeper ... Q&A: How Washington, D.C., Would Become a State (WSJ)

Go deeper