In her March 12 Metro column, “GOP once championed statehood for D.C.,” Petula Dvorak made another pitch for D.C. statehood, giving the District two Senate seats and one House seat.
People come to and live in the District knowing they can’t vote for members of Congress. There are good reasons not to give them that vote. The District is a company town, with most of its population working for or living off the federal government. And in a nation of 330 million, why should 700,000 people in that company town be given a power that could sometimes be used to control the Senate?
Compare D.C. presidential votes with those of nearby states. In the 1984 election, Ronald Reagan got 62 percent of the vote in Virginia, 52 percent in Maryland, 60 percent in Delaware and less than 14 percent in the District. In 2016, Donald Trump got 44 percent in Virginia, 34 percent in Maryland, 42 percent in Delaware and 4 percent in the District. D.C. residents have never cast more than 22 percent of their votes for the Republican candidate.
In 1846, Congress gave Virginia the part of the District south of the Potomac. It could cede to Maryland all of the remainder of the District except for an area containing the seat of government. That would give D.C. residents the right to vote for Congress without handing them the power to distort the Senate. Alternately, the Constitution could be amended to give D.C. residents a right to vote for the House but not for the Senate.
Jim Dueholm, Washington