Apr 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Manchin says he doesn't support D.C. statehood

Photo of Joe Manchin sitting during a hearing

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said in a radio interview on Friday that he doesn't support the D.C. statehood bill.

Why it matters: Without Manchin's support in the closely divided Senate, the bill, which passed the House last week, is unlikely to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to send it to President Biden's desk.

  • D.C. statehood is a priority for Democrats, who call it a civil rights issue that would enfranchise the city's Black plurality.
  • Republicans say the measure is an unconstitutional power grab.

What he's saying: "If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment ... and let the people of America vote," Manchin told Hoppy Kercheval of West Virginia's MetroNews.

  • Congressional action would likely lead to a Supreme Court challenge, he noted.
    • "Every legal scholar has told us that, so why not do it the right way and let the people vote to see if they want to change?"
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