A quartet of senators introduced a bill Thursday to grant the District full statehood, a measure that has faint prospects of passage in the near term but will at least ensure the issue remains alive on both sides of the Capitol.
The measure was offered by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) — the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over D.C. — as well as Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
District citizens, Carper said, “serve in our military, fight in our wars, die for our country, and pay federal taxes. But when it comes to having a voice in Congress, suddenly these men and women do not count. … It is incumbent upon those of us who enjoy the right and the privilege of full voting rights to take up the cause of our fellow citizens here in the District of Columbia and find a solution.”
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) offered the same bill, which would create New Columbia as the 51st state, in the House last week. She has also introduced two different measures to grant the District voting rights in Congress.