A group of Senate Democrats reintroduced legislation Wednesday that would give statehood to Washington, D.C., something many Democrats have indicated support for including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The bill was led by Democratic Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, it was first introduced in 2013, and would make the District of Columbia the 51st state. The likelihood of D.C. becoming a state would mean Senate Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to jump on board, however, if they abolished the filibuster it could be done.
“This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; it’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation for D.C. residents is clearly inconsistent with the values on which this country was founded,” Carper said in a statement, The Hill reported.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would love to see D.C. and Puerto Rico become states in a September interview with MSNBC, saying, “Believe me, on D.C. and Puerto Rico — particularly if Puerto Rico votes for it, D.C. already has voted for it and wants it — [we] would love to make them states.”
Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has refused to say if he believes the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico should be added as new states to the U.S., after being asked multiple times about the issue.
President Joe Biden has not changed his mind on D.C. statehood or eliminating the filibuster, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a Friday briefing.