HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Congress ended last week with the House of Representatives sending a D.C. statehood bill to the Senate.
The bill was strongly supported by Maryland Congressman David Trone, an original co-sponsor of the legislation. The District of Columbia’s population is larger than that of two current states and pays more federal taxes than 22 states. Democrats make the case that it’s a matter of civil rights — the city’s population is 46% African American. But Trone’s Republican challenger in the November election for the 6th congressional district, Delegate Neil Parrott, says our Founding Fathers had a Constitutional basis for our nation’s capital.
“This is not the way to do it,” says Parrott. In the Federalist Papers, James Madison, had a lot to say about this. He said that D.C., as the seat of power for the whole country, could not have undue power.”
Still, D.C. residents maintain they pay taxes like residents in any of the 50 states. They serve in the military. Why should they be disenfranchised from having representation in Congress?
Parrott thinks Friday’s vote is all about power politics, a backdoor way for Trone’s Democratic Party to add two more U.S. Senators, fueled by the Nation’s Capital’s deep blue political leanings.
“This cannot be a political decision,” says Parrott. “That’s what the House of Representatives did. It cannot be political.”
Though the bill comfortably passed the House Friday, it now goes to the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.) intends to bury it.
The last time the House voted on D.C. statehood — in 1993 — it failed by a nearly two-to-one margin.
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