House passes D.C. statehood bill; Reps. Harshbarger, Griffith call move “unconstitutional”
Two Tri-Cities representatives in Congress are pushing back on a proposal to make Washington D.C. the 51st state in the country.
Virginia 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith spoke on the House floor Thursday and during his remarks, he said, “D.C. statehood is unconstitutional. Both Republican and Democrat administrations have long interpreted the Constitution in that fashion.”
Griffith discussed his bill that countered the D.C. statehood legislation, which would return part of D.C. land to Maryland originally ceded to the federal government and would give those residents who live on the land proposed to be returned to Maryland representation in Congress.
Tennessee 1st District Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger also called H.R. 51 “unconstitutional” and said in a statement the proposal is a partisan power grab.
“There are other, more realistic proposals to grant full representation to citizens of D.C., such as retroceding most of the city to the state of Maryland, which would follow a precedent set in the 19th Century. However, this action would not give the Democrats two additional U.S. Senators to help them impose a radical agenda on the American people. The truth is that Pelosi and the Democrats don’t care about representation for the people of D.C.; they care about expanding their majority,” Harshbarger said in her statement following the House vote.
HR 51 passed Thursday on a party line 216-208 vote, but is expected to face a uphill battle in the Senate.
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