A nonbinding resolution in support of statehood for the District of Columbia has been rejected by New Hampshire’s State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Councilmembers Kwame Brown, David Catania, Michael A. Brown, Vincent Orange and Mary Cheh trekked to Concord on Friday to make their case for statehood but were shot down in an 8-3 vote.
The bill could still make it to the floor of the state House — state Rep. Cindy Rosenwald (D), the measure’s sponsor, is expected to try to bring it up later in the session.
The 8-3 vote against the resolution was a nearly party-line affair. Committee Vice Chairwoman Lynne Blankenbeker was the lone Republican to side with Democrats in favor of the measure.
A delegation from DC Vote was also present at Friday’s vote.
“We were disappointed with the way they voted,” DC Vote Executive Director Ilir Zherka said. “Statehood is a relatively new idea, and I think we need to spend more time educating the state legislature. ... It’s part of the process.”
The New Hampshire trip was the first stop on what D.C. councilmembers have said will be a tour around the country to seek support for the creation of “New Columbia.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.