The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is postponing a hearing on D.C. statehood until the fall to avoid a conflict with former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s planned testimony before two separate House committees.
The hearing was slated to take place July 24, the same day Mueller is set to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees about his investigation into the 2016 presidential election. The subject of the Oversight Committee’s hearing is a bill, proposed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D. C.) along with 216 Democratic co-sponsors, that would make the District of Columbia the 51st state.
In a statement Saturday, Norton said she asked Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) for the delay, which he accepted.
“We will use this postponement to nationalize our efforts, giving national attention to the disenfranchisement of D.C. residents and to continue to build support for the bill in the House, Senate and across the country,” Norton said.
The hearing on statehood will mark the first time in roughly a quarter-century that the issue receives a formal review from a House committee. Under Norton’s legislation, the District would gain rights enjoyed by the other 50 states, including having two senators and one House member with voting rights (which Norton lacks).
The bill has garnered endorsements from the House, prominent groups such as the NAACP, national political figures including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and some 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.