WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a party-line vote, the bill that would grant statehood to D.C. residents passed the U.S. House today. H.R. 51, which has been introduced by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) in every Congress for the last 30 years, would carve out a new, smaller federal district within the bounds of the city and make the largely residential areas of the capital the nation’s 51st state. The bill passed the House for the first time last year, but was not taken up by Sen. Mitch McConnell (D- Ky.) in the Republican-majority Senate. With Democrats in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, advocates hope that the issue of statehood can advance this year.
On Tuesday, the White House released a statement in support of D.C. statehood, the first of its kind from a sitting president. The bill now moves to the Senate, where its future rests largely upon the fate of the filibuster, which if eliminated would allow the legislation to pass with a simple majority instead of 60 votes. If it advances to President Biden’s desk, he is expected to sign it.