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The D.C. statehood effort got new life Thursday, when longtime skeptic House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer threw his support behind the idea and fellow Democrats pledged hearings to advance the issue.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Committee, said he has scheduled a hearing for July 24, marking the first time in more than a quarter century that the topic has gotten that far.
Step - Equality - Self-government - DC - DC
“This is a monumental step forward for equality and self-government for D.C.,” said D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city’s nonvoting representative in Congress.
Mrs. Norton, Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city officials celebrated the announcement in front of the D.C. War Memorial, which they said symbolizes the sacrifices residents have made while lacking equal rights.
Enough - Citizenship - Ms - Norton
“We have had enough of second-class citizenship,” Ms. Norton said.
What’s more, the latest version of the D.C. statehood bill has 205 sponsors in the House and 33 in the Senate.
Mr - Hoyer - Backing - Boost - Congressman
Mr. Hoyer’s backing is a major boost. The congressman, who has represented a suburban Maryland district abutting the District for decades, said in a Washington Post op-ed that he is reversing his longstanding wariness.
In the past, he supported a limited option that would have made the D.C. delegate a full voting member of the House, but he said he now feels that falls short of what the city deserves.
Americans - District - Member - Voting - Rights
“Americans in the District have been denied not only a member with full voting rights in the House of Representatives but also two U.S. senators — simply because of where they live,” Mr. Hoyer wrote in the op-ed.
D.C. statehood was included the Democrats’ flagship election reform package, which passed the House in March.
US - Constitution - District - Seat - Government
The U.S. Constitution created the District as the seat of the federal government with land ceded by Maryland and Virginia — although Virginia later got its land...
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