Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
April 22, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in support of H.R. 51, legislation to admit Washington, DC as the 51st state in the Union, which passed the House today. Below are excerpts from his remarks.

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“I want to thank the incomparable [Congresswoman] Eleanor Holmes Norton for her hard work and tireless advocacy for so many years as the leader of this cause. On behalf of equal rights for the citizens she represents without a vote. Why are they lesser citizens? Is she a lesser representative? Surely not.”

“If a President of the United States, Republican or Democrat, asks somebody to come to the District of Columbia and work for the US government, bring your talents, your energy, and your focus to work for your country in Washington, DC. But, oh, by the way, you have to give up your vote in the Congress of the United States, your representative. In no other democracy are residents of the national capital excluded from representation, none. Frankly, I think the Founders had no concept of how big this city would become, how vibrant it would become, none. Yet nearly 700,000 Americans are denied full representation.”

“This legislation would end the unjust practice of treating DC residents differently than their fellow citizens in the 50 states when it comes to allocating resources or providing COVID-19 relief under the CARES Act last year.”

“I hope that the Senate will then take up this bill and consider the question of DC statehood on its merits. Not on politics, maybe that’s too much to ask. Not on partisan math or electoral predictions – which, as we have seen, may or may not come to pass. But on merits alone. On the conviction that taxation without representation is not fair now, just as it was not fair in 1776.”

“The people of this city, our nation’s Capital, deserve full and equal representation in Congress. Mr. Speaker, I hope that this bill will pass with bipartisan support. It’s going to pass, but I hope we have some bipartisan support. Based upon the principle that every citizen in our country ought to enjoy the same representation in the Congress of the United States as every other citizen.”