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To Make Nation 'Stronger and More Just,' White House Offers Support for DC Statehood

The statement of administration policy marked the first time the executive branch has backed statehood for Washington, D.C.

Activists hold signs as they take part in a rally in support of D.C. statehood near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on March 22, 2021. (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

The White House on Tuesday formally offered its endorsement of legislation that would establish statehood for Washington, D.C., giving full representation to the district's 700,000 full-time residents. 

The House is scheduled to vote this week on the Washington D.C. Admission Act, or H.R. 51, following its passage in the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week.  In its official statement on administration policy, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) wrote that statehood for the district "will make our Union stronger and more just."

"Washington, D.C. has a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy."
—Office of Management and Budget

"Washington, D.C. has a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy," the office added. 

President Joe Biden has previously stated his personal support for Washington, D.C. statehood; according to Forbes, the OMB's statement is the first instance in which the executive branch has officially backed the effort. 

H.R. 51 was passed by the Oversight and Reform Committee in a party line vote of 25-19. Republicans argued on Tuesday that the district should not be established as a state because it "wouldn't even qualify as a singular congressional district"—even though both Vermont and Wyoming have smaller populations than Washington, D.C.

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Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who represents Washington, D.C. in the House but cannot vote on final legislation, thanked the White House for its support of H.R. 51, which she introduced in the House last year.  

"Thank you to the Biden administration for today's statement supporting H.R. 51," Norton said. "The residents of our nation's capital deserve voting representation in Congress and full local self-government, and with Thursday's House vote and expected passage, along with Democratic control of the Senate and White House, we have never been closer to statehood." 

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