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House of Representatives to vote on D.C. statehood June 26

File Photo by Arielle Bader
University President Thomas LeBlanc and three other local college presidents announced their support for D.C. statehood ahead of a congressional hearing on the issue Thursday.

The U.S. House of Representatives scheduled a vote for next week to make D.C. the 51st state, NPR reported Tuesday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced at a news conference Wednesday that the House will vote on a bill for D.C. statehood June 26, marking the first time since 1993 that the body will vote on the issue. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s nonvoting delegate, has attained more than 220 co-sponsors and would allow D.C. residents to elect two senators and one representative, according to NPR.

Norton introduced the bill in January 2019, and the House Oversight and Reform Committee approved it this past February by a vote of 21 to 16. Norton told NPR that the bill holds personal meaning to her family.

“My great-grandfather, who escaped as a slave from a Virginia plantation, Richard Holmes, made it as far as the District of Columbia,” she said. “A walk to freedom – but not to equal citizenship.”

The bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate, according to NPR. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has previously said he would oppose any push for D.C. or Puerto Rico statehood.

“As long as I’m the majority leader of the Senate, none of that stuff is going anywhere,” McConnell said.

The House previously voted against the District’s statehood in 1993 by a vote of 277 to 153. Norton also sponsored the statehood bill at that time.

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