U.S. News


DC Wants To Be Its Own State, And Clinton And Sanders Approve

For District of Columbia residents, the issue of statehood has been recurring for decades. Bernie Sanders became the movement's latest backer.
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jun 12, 2016

The American flag could be getting another star if the District of Columbia's push for statehood works. 

D.C. faces a unique challenge — its nearly 700,000 residents aren't represented in the Senate, even though they pay taxes.

The push for statehood has been ongoing since the 1980s. And some in the nation's capital are calling it "taxation without representation."

That point seemed to hit home with the movement's latest backer — Bernie Sanders. 

Hillary Clinton has voiced her support, too, saying she would be a "vocal champion" for the movement. 

Supporters for the movement say it's been a slow process — D.C. residents weren't able vote for president until 1964. 

But in order to join the fifty-nifty United States, the Constitution would need to be amended, Congress would have to agree to pass a bill, or a petition to Congress would need to be submitted.

Opponents to a D.C. state have been largely Republican — because they don't want another blue state. A Republican-majority Congress shot down the idea in the '80s. 

But D.C.'s current mayor, Muriel Bowser, is pushing again — this time with the petition method. 

Bowser told residents in April her goal was to get the issue on the ballot in November. 

This video includes clips from D.C. Mayor's OfficeDC VoteHillary for PresidentBernie 2016 and C-SPAN and images from The White House / Arnold Newman and U.S. Library of Congress / Marion Trikosko