Aug 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McSally: GOP would "never get the Senate back" if D.C. and Puerto Rico were states

Martha McSally wears a colorful orange and yellow bandana

Sen. Martha McSally on May 6 in Washington, DC. Photo: Shawn Thew via Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz) told NBC News that if Democrats take the Senate and grant statehood to Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, Republicans would "never get the Senate back again."

Why it matters: McSally is facing a challenge from astronaut Mark Kelly in a competitive race that many believe could determine the balance of the Senate. "This is just the implications of this seat, the implications of this vote," McSally said after claiming that Democrats would get four new senators with D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood.

The big picture: Puerto Rico and D.C. have pushed to become states for years. The House voted largely along party lines in June to recognize D.C., which is 45% Black and has voted overwhelmingly Democratic in recent years, as a state.

What she's saying: "There's so much at stake here. They're gonna make D.C. and Puerto Rico a state and get four new Democratic senators, we'd never get the Senate back again. ... It's not just about whether you like astronauts or fighter pilots. This is about — my opponent's first vote is for Chuck Schumer."

Flashback: President Trump said in May that Washington, D.C., will never become a state because Republicans wouldn't agree to giving Democrats more seats in Congress.

Go deeper: Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly raised $12.8 million in Q2

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