(CNSNews.com) -- When asked whether Washington, D.C. should be made a state, as many Democrats are advocating, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said, “No, neither does the Constitution.”
At the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 26, CNS News asked Sen. Lankford: “Sen. Carper just introduced a bill that would make D.C. a state, do you think that D.C. should be a state?”
Lankford replied, “No, neither does the Constitution.”
When asked if he believed that this move is an attempted power grab by the Democrats, he said, “You’d have to ask them their motivation.”
On Jan. 24, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) re-introduced the “Washington, D.C. Admission Act,” S51, which would make the District of Columbia the 51st state.
Under Carper’s proposal, the new state would receive one House representative and two U.S. senator seats.
In a statement, Sen. Carper said, “We have been taught that when our founders built a new nation they cried ‘no taxation without representation’ — a slogan that has stood the test of time. Unfortunately, ‘taxation without representation’ is the current reality for nearly 700,000 citizens living in the District of Columbia.”
“These citizens do not have a voting representative in either chamber of Congress,” said Carper. “They pay more federal taxes per capita than citizens of any of the 50 states but have no say in how those taxes are actually spent. … This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue — it’s an issue of fairness.”
Forty-two Democratic senators and one independent senator have cosponsored Carper’s bill.
Commenting on the D.C. statehood issue, Roger Pilon, senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, said Congress cannot just legislate D.C. into statehood. “I believe that D.C. statehood can be achieved only by amending the Constitution, as others have long thought, including Justice Departments from the time of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.”