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Metro Brief: Statehood bill gets record number of cosponsors

District of Columbia

On January 26, 2015

The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that the District of Columbia statehood bill’s 93 original cosponsors, a record number of members who cosponsored the bill before its introduction, ranks in the top 1 percent of the 662 bills introduced thus far in the 114th Congress. The previous record of original cosponsors for the New Columbia Admission Act was at the beginning of the 100th Congress, in 1987, when 69 members, all Democrats, cosponsored, representing 26.7 percent of House Democrats.  That record was shattered in the Congress last week by the 93 original cosponsors, who represent over 49.5 percent of House Democrats, nearly double the proportion of the previous record.

“Today’s Republican House and Senate are no bar to the work that needs to be done to obtain D.C. statehood,” said Norton. “We intend to keep doing all that we can in Congress to promote D.C. statehood and to educate members of the House and Senate about the reasons the bill is essential.  The basic work, however, still has to be done in the city and the nation before even a Democratic House and Senate will move D.C. statehood, as we already have seen. We will continue to add to the Congressional base of support, which we see is there in the House, but members of the House and Senate vote based largely on how their own constituents feel.  Our statehood movement is carrying this difficult burden and many more of us need to join them.”

Norton, who expects the bill to be introduced in the Senate soon, said that the bill’s large number of original cosponsors is designed to keep building the congressional base for D.C. statehood and to maintain and build on the start the bill got in the 113th Congress from the first-ever Senate hearing on statehood, attended by more residents than any D.C. hearing in memory, and from the President’s announced support for D.C. statehood.

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