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Washington, DC statehood

Last Updated:2017-Mar-07
Principal Writer:Barry Shatzman

Issue Sections

Understanding The Issue
Issue Status
Analysis and Perspectives
What You Can Do
More Information
The Rumor Mill

Reported News


Related Bills

Washington, D.C. Admission Act

2021 (HR-51)

Washington, D.C. Admission Act

2017 (HR-1291)

New Columbia Admission Act

2015 (HR-317)

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Washington, D.C. Admission Act

A bill to create the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth from the residential portions of the District of Columbia was passed the House of Representatives.

Several similar bills have been proposed since 1991. None have been acted on, and they died when the Congressional term ended.

The current bill still must pass the Senate (and then be signed by the president) in order to take affect.

What will it take for the Senate to pass the bill?

Because this bill would affect the balance of power in the Senate, it is possible that every Democrat will support it and every Republican will oppose it. Should that happen, Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the deciding vote, and would be expected to support it.

There also is a chance it would not get that far. Republicans likely would filibuster the bill. Since 60 votes are required to overcome a filibuster, the bill would not receive a vote.

The filibuster, however, is nothing more than a Senate rule imposed by the majority. Democrats could change the filibuster rule so that the bill eventually would be given a vote.

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