Republicans in Congress are desperately using any excuse they can conjure to justify their opposition against Washington DC being granted statehood and the representation in the House and Senate that comes with it. And all of their arguments just don’t hold up.
One of the first arguments Republicans used came from Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who claimed DC can’t be a state because it lacks car dealerships, landfills, and airports.
The District of Columbia actually has several car dealerships. All Republicans need to do is Google it.
As for landfills, DC has those as well. There’s the Fort Totten Solid Waste Disposal Transfer Station on John McCormack Road and the Kenilworth Park Landfill Site, although it ceased operation in the 1970s.
The airport argument is rather confusing since it appears Republicans are ignoring Ronald Reagan National Airport, which is only four miles from downtown DC.
Not to be outdone in making ridiculous arguments, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) used racist code words to praise Wyoming for being “well-rounded” as critics point out that the state has 100,000 fewer people than DC.
His argument implied that DC isn’t white enough to be a state and that it doesn’t have enough miners, loggers, or manufacturing workers to be considered for statehood.
Cotton’s argument can be easily demolished, seeing as how there are several states that have more or less of those kinds of jobs than Wyoming. Should we revoke Wyoming’s statehood because it doesn’t even crack the top ten of states with the most logging operations? It’s not a top manufacturing state either.
As for population demographics, that argument is complete hogwash and we only need to look at Hawaii statehood in 1959 to know why. When Hawaii became a state that year, the white population was outnumbered by Native Hawaiians, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Black residents by a 3 to 1 margin. Hawaii statehood passed in Congress by overwhelming margins, but just as conservative lawmakers like Hice and Cotton are opposed to DC statehood now, several conservative lawmakers opposed Hawaii statehood in 1959 because of racism and the fact that the then-territory leaned left.
Both reasons for opposing DC statehood are invalid.
Furthermore, Republicans supported splitting the Dakota territory into two states so they could add four Republican senators to Congress instead of just two back in 1889. The same could be said of West Virginia becoming a state in 1863.
Also, the Constitution does not contain any of these absurd GOP arguments against statehood. It merely states:
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
So, Congress can admit DC as a state. It should be represented properly in the United States Senate, especially since residents pay higher taxes than residents of many other states. That’s taxation without representation, something Republicans should abhor. DC statehood is the right thing to do and there’s no real argument to justify not doing it.
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