State of Washington
67th Legislature
2021 Regular Session
BySenators Liias, Kuderer, Hunt, and Wellman
Read first time 04/15/21.Referred to Committee on State Government & Elections.
WHEREAS, The people living on the land that would eventually be designated as the District of Columbia were provided the right to vote for representation in Congress when the United States Constitution was ratified in 1788; and
WHEREAS, The passage of the Organic Act of 1801 placed the District of Columbia under the exclusive authority of the United States Congress and abolished residents' right to vote for Members of Congress and the President and Vice President of the United States; and
WHEREAS, Residents of the District of Columbia were granted the right to vote for the President and Vice President through passage of the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1961; and
WHEREAS, As of 2020, the United States Census Bureau data estimates that the District of Columbia's population at approximately 712,000 residents is comparable to the populations of Wyoming (582,000), Vermont (623,000), Alaska (731,000), and North Dakota (765,000); and
WHEREAS, Residents of the District of Columbia share all the responsibilities of United States citizenship, including paying more federal taxes than residents of 22 states, service on federal juries, and defending the United States as members of the United States armed forces in every war since the War for Independence, yet they are denied full representation in Congress; and
WHEREAS, The residents of the District of Columbia themselves have endorsed statehood for the District of Columbia and passed a district-wide referendum on November 8, 2016, which favored statehood by 86 percent; and
WHEREAS, No other democratic nation denies the right of self-government, including participation in its national legislature, to the residents of its capital; and
WHEREAS, The residents of the District of Columbia lack full democracy, equality, and citizenship enjoyed by the residents of the 50 states; and
WHEREAS, The United States Congress repeatedly has interfered with the District of Columbia's limited self-government by enacting laws that affect the District of Columbia's expenditure of its locally raised tax revenue, including barring the usage of locally raised revenue, thus violating the fundamental principle that states and local governments are best suited to enact legislation that represents the will of their citizens; and
WHEREAS, Although the District of Columbia has passed consecutive balanced budgets since fiscal year 1997, it still faces the possibility of being shut down yearly because of congressional deliberations over the federal budget; and
WHEREAS, District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Delaware United States Senator Tom Carper introduced in the 117th Congress H.R. 51 and S. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, that provides that the state of Washington, D.C., would have all the rights of citizenship as taxpaying American citizens, including two senators and at least one house member; and
WHEREAS, The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on the United States Congress to address the District of Columbia's lack of political equality, and the Organization of American States has declared the disenfranchisement of the District of Columbia residents a violation of its charter agreement, to which the United States is a signatory;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the members of the United States Congress are urged to enact federal legislation granting statehood to the people of Washington, D.C.; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Senate of the state of Washington support admitting Washington, D.C., into the Union as a state of the United States of America.
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