WASHINGTON — For the first time in more than two decades, Congress will hear testimony Monday, Sept. 15 on whether the District of Columbia should become the 51st state in the country.
If granted statehood, the District, as we know it, will be divided in two: A small area around the White House and U.S. Capitol will remain a federal district, called the District of Columbia, while much of the residential and office areas will become “New Columbia.”
Several Senate Democrats reportedly support the effort to make D.C. a state, but the bill has much less support in the Republican-led house. Statehood would allow D.C. full voting representation in Congress and more control over its own budget and local matters.
Witnesses at Monday’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing will include Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Mayor Vincent Gray, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights CEO Wade Henderson and former White House Office of Management and Budget Director Alice Rivlin.