Congress

D.C. statehood hearing rescheduled for September

Hearing on bill introduced by Holmes Norton had been postponed to accommodate Mueller testimony

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Muriel Bowser at a May 30 news conference to announce a hearing would be held on making the District of Columbia, which they represent, a state. Originally set for July, the hearing has been rescheduled for September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A hearing on a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state has been rescheduled for September. 

A bill introduced by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton had been scheduled for July but was postponed to accommodate testimony from former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.  The hearing on Norton’s statehood bill — aptly named H.R. 51 — will be held by the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m.

[Del. Holmes Norton ‘sees good news’ in a poll finding a majority reject D.C. statehood]

“I am particularly grateful to Chairman Cummings for his leadership and for quickly pressing forward with this hearing, which is necessary for our D.C. statehood bill to move to the House floor,” the D.C. Democrat said in a news release.

Holmes Norton’s bill has more than 200 cosponsors in the House, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly endorsed it. No Republicans have signed on in support, however. 

Republicans have long opposed giving D.C. statehood status or the right to have voting representatives in Congress because it consistently votes heavily for Democrats. 

A hearing on a statehood bill hasn’t been held in a quarter-century, and Holmes Norton said holding the hearing was essential to passing her bill. 

Norton said she found “good news” in a June Gallup poll that found 64 percent of Americans oppose making Washington a separate state. Norton said she believed the hearing would bring the issue to the attention to more Americans.

“This hearing will inform people of what most do not know — that the residents of their nation’s capital do not have full voting rights in the House and have no representation in the Senate,” she said in a statement.

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