Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has expressed support for making D.C. the 51st state, but it doesn’t have enough support in the Senate to override a filibuster.
‘So what the Senate Democrats are trying to do – they’re trying to add new senators to the Senate, so they keep control forever,’ Cruz said.
If D.C. became a state, two senators would be added to represent the residents, who would almost certainly elect two Democrats. D.C.’s non-voting delegate in the House would also transform into a full-fledged member of Congress.
Sen. Ted Cruz (left) called the Democrats ‘fundamentally corrupt’ for ‘changing the rules to stay in power’ pointing to a plan to add justices to the Supreme Court and make D.C. the 51st state. He held a presser alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham (right) Thursday
‘They’re trying to change voting in America, so Democrats never lose,’ the Texas Republican went on. ‘And they’re trying to pack the Supreme Court with four left-wing radicals.’
In a tweet after his speech he pointed out that Venezuela’s socialist former president Hugo Chavez packed his country’s Supreme Court after he was elected.
WOULD D.C. BE THE BLUEST STATE? HERE’S HOW THE CITY VOTED IN THE LAST FIVE ELECTIONS
Since 2000 the district has voted for Democrats in presidential elections over 85% of the time. It peaked in 2008 when 92.5% of the district voted for Barack Obama.
Republicans have pointed to these voting demographics to argue that the bid for statehood is nothing more than a ‘power grab’.
The alternatives they have considered include obsolving residents of federal taxes or the retrocession of much of the district back into Maryland.
JOE BIDEN (D) – 92.2%
DONALD TRUMP (R) – 5.4%
HILLARY CLINTON (D) – 90.9%
DONALD TRUMP (R) – 4.1%
BARACK OBAMA (D) – 90.9%
MITT ROMNEY (R) – 7.3%
BARACK OBAMA (D) – 92.5%
JOHN MCCAIN (R) – 6.5%
JOHN KERRY (D) – 89.2%
GEORGE W. BUSH (R) – 9.3%
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler introduced legislation last week that would expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 seats, corresponding to the number of federal circuit courts.
‘This bill would restore balance to the nation’s highest court after four years of norm-breaking actions by Republicans led to its current composition and greatly damaged the Court’s standing in the eyes of the American people,’ a release on the legislation argued.
During former President Donald Trump’s four years in office he was able to nominate three Supreme Court justices with the help of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell held a seat open for nearly a year to assure Trump and Republicans were able fill the seat that had been occupied by the late Antonin Scalia.
President Barack Obama had nominated now-Attorney General Merrick Garland, but the federal judge never got a hearing.
At the end of Trump’s term, Senate Republicans quickly voted in Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
While a handful of Democrats signed onto the court-expanding legislation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promptly said it wouldn’t get a vote on the House floor.
President Joe Biden backs studying the issue – but is not a proponent of Nadler’s bill.
‘You didn’t see Republicans when we had control of the Senate try to rig the game,’ Cruz argued.
‘If they want to stay in power, there’s a real simple path for that: convince voters your ideas are right,’ Cruz also said. ‘But that’s too complicated. Sometimes the voters disagree.’
Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones said it was Republicans who were rigging democracy to stay in power during his floor speech Thursday in support of D.C. statehood.
‘The truth is there is no good faith argument for disenfranchising 700,000 people, most of whom are people of color,’ the New York freshman said.
Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones said Thursday that it was Republicans who were rigging democracy to stay in power since they won’t back making D.C. a state. Jones also said GOP arguments against D.C. statehood were ‘racist trash’ during a fiery floor speech
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler introduced legislation last week that would increase the number of Supreme Court seats from nine to 13, corresponding to the number of federal circuit courts
‘These desperate objections are about fear. Fear that in D.C. their white supremacist politics will no longer play. Fear that soon enough white supremacist politics won’t work anywhere in America,’ he continued.
‘Fear that if they don’t rig our democracy they will not win,’ Jones added.
However, the Democrat’s claims that Republicans were racist got more attention.
‘One Senate Republican, said that D.C. wouldn’t be a “well rounded working class state.” I had no ideas there were so many syllables in the word white,’ Jones said.
‘One of my House Republican colleagues said that D.C. shouldn’t be a state because the District doesn’t have a landfill,’ he continued. ‘My goodness, with all the racist trash my colleagues have brought to this debate I can see why they’re worried about having a place to put it.’
WHY D.C. ISN’T ALREADY A STATE
The Constitution outlined the creation of a federal district that would be under the jurisdiction of Congress – and, by design, not be part of any U.S. state.
Virginia and Maryland originally gave the land that would become Washington, D.C. – though in 1846, Congress gave Virginia’s portion back.
Congress held its first session in the new United States capital in 1800.
Residents were also unable to vote for president of the United States nor did they have voting members of Congress.
The majority black city made some progress in the civil rights era ushering in the 23rd Amendment in 1961, which gave D.C. residents the right to vote for president and vice president with three Electoral College votes, the lowest number states are eligible for.
In 1971, D.C. gained a non-voting Congressional delegate who could speak on the floor and participate in committee meetings, but not vote on legislation.
When Democrats have been in control D.C.’s delegate has been able to vote in committee, but that privilege has been stripped when Republicans have a majority.
In 1973 with passage of the Home Rule Act, D.C. residents could now elect a mayor and city council, however Congress was still able to overrule laws passed by the local government.
Five years later, D.C. came close to gaining Congressional representation – with two senators and one House member – through a Constitutional amendment, which passed Congress but was never ratified by enough states.
The effort died in 1985.
Since 1980, there’s been an effort to make D.C. a state.
The House passed D.C. statehood legislation for the first time in June 2020 – and again on April 22, 2021. The Senate has never given the bill a vote.