(CNSNews.com) - In a story published by The New Yorker on Sunday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) explains why she advocates making Washington, D.C. a state that can elect a voting member to the House of Representatives and two voting senators to the U.S. Senate.
In a Tweet she sent out this morning that was linked to the New Yorker article, Warren said: “DC residents don’t have an equal voice in our government—despite paying federal taxes. It’s not right and I’m fighting to change that.”
The New Yorker article notes that H.R. 51, which would make D.C. a state, “has two hundred co-sponsors” in the House and is likely to pass in that chamber soon.
A D.C. statehood bill in the Senate, according to the New Yorker, currently has 28 co-sponsors “including all of that chamber’s candidates for President.”
Warren told the New Yorker: “It matters. Here’s an example. In 2017, when the Republicans tried to rip away health care from millions of American, including tens of thousands of people in D.C., Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton didn’t have a vote. This is not right. The right to vote is at the heart of our democracy.”
Warren further told the New Yorker: “It’s not simply that American citizens aren’t getting representation. They’re actually being rolled over by a Republican-led Congress that wants to make their own decisions about how the people of D.C. should live.”
“The argument[against D.C. statehood] is that, if American citizens [in D.C.] get to vote, then the Senate might be more progressive,” Warrant told The New Yorker. “Yes! That’s right. The Senate might be more responsive to American citizens. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.”
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution specifically called for creating a unique jurisdiction for the capital city of the United States.
It says: “The Congress shall have Power To… exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States…”
As the Heritage Foundation has noted in a report on this clause in the Constitution, James Madison argued in Federalist 43 that there was good cause to have the Congress meet in a city that was not a part of any state.
Madison wrote in Federalist 43: “The indispensable necessity of compleat authority at the seat of Government carries its own evidence with it. It is a power exercised by every Legislature of the Union, I might say of the world, by virtue of its general supremacy. Without it, not only the public authority might be insulted and its proceedings be interrupted, with impunity; but a dependence of the members of the general Government, on the State comprehending the seat of the Government for protection in the exercise of their duty, might bring on the national councils an imputation of awe or influence, equally dishonorable to the Government, and dissatisfactory to the other members of the confederacy.