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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) this week renewed the call for Washington to become the nation's 51st state.

Why it matters: Democrats support D.C. statehood because it's likely to add two more senators from their party. Two turning points this week — the siege of the U.S. Capitol and Democrats new control of the Senate — have built momentum for the issue of D.C. statehood to come up at the start of the congressional session and President-elect Joe Biden's presidency.

  • Advocates also argue that D.C. should become a state to receive fair representation at the federal level.

What they're saying: "[W]e are ready to finally fix this injustice by getting statehood on President Biden’s desk within the first 100 days of the 117th Congress," Bowser said in a statement.

  • "With our seats at the table, we can help build back better than ever before," she continued.
  • Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.'s only non-voting House member, told Insider that statehood is "in sight."

Of note: The Capitol siege also prompted the call of the D.C. National Guard — which can only be summoned by the executive branch.

  • The District of Columbia Council issued a statement on Wednesday saying, "the Department of Defense denied a request by Mayor Muriel Bowser to expand the responsibilities of the District of Columbia National Guard..."
  • Vice President Mike Pence then encouraged the Pentagon mid-afternoon to rapidly deploy the National Guard to the Capitol, sources briefed tell Axios' Jonathan Swan.

"Congress must immediately transfer command of the District of Columbia National Guard from the president of the United States and put it squarely under the command and control of the District of Columbia," Bowser said.

  • "We would not be restricted in any way for how to deploy the Guard, so we wouldn’t have to clear a deployment plan with the secretary of the Army."

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.