Norton asks Biden to use DC’s ‘Taxation Without Representation’ plates

The District’s delegate in Congress wants the Biden administration to show its support for D.C. statehood by switching the license plates on the president’s and vice president’s cars to ones bearing the phrase, “Taxation Without Representation.”

In a letter addressed to the White House on Wednesday, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton requested that President Joe Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’ limos don the standard-issue D.C. plates bearing the slogan.

Recent photos of the president’s state car, commonly known as “The Beast,” showed it carrying a version of the D.C. plate curiously scrubbed of the phrase.

Making the switch, Norton said, would help symbolize Biden’s stated support for granting the District’s nearly 700,000 residents full representation on Capitol Hill.

“D.C. residents, who pay full federal taxes, are denied voting representation in Congress. They deserve the full equality that can only come with statehood,” Norton wrote. “The use of the standard D.C. license plate on the presidential and vice presidential vehicles will help communicate the disenfranchisement of D.C. residents to the country and to the world.”

A statement from Norton’s office noted that use of the phrase on the presidential limo has see-sawed since the plates made their debut on The Beast during Bill Clinton’s presidency, generally along party lines.

George W. Bush had them removed, but Barack Obama brought them back in his second term after being petitioned by the D.C. Council. Trump held onto them for a few years before they were quietly swapped for the plain plates again.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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