If you live in the District of Columbia, you have no voting representation in the U.S. House or the Senate. This is despite the fact that Congress has ultimate governing authority over the district.
I never understood the need for District of Columbia. I understand that it would be better that our main federal office buildings, the White House, Congress, etc. be located in a separate federal district, not subject to the jurisdiction of any state. My problem was the inclusion of residential neighborhoods into the district. That act permanently disenfranchised thousands of Americans. Talk about taxation without representation.
Democrats note the unfairness of the residents of Washington, D.C. not having federal representation in Congress. They propose a solution - making it a state.
As of 2019, Washington, D.C. had a population of 692,683, ranking it the 20th largest city in the United States. Washington, D.C. has less population than Austin, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Columbus, Ohio. Washington, D.C. at 68.34 square miles in size, is not a large city geographically either. By comparison, Indianapolis is 368 square miles. The smallest state is Rhode Island at 1,214 square miles.
It is not fair that Washington, D.C. residents do not have voting representation in Congress. But making it a state is beyond absurd. This is especially true when there is an obvious solution to giving D.C. residents representation - retrocession. To carve out Washington, D.C., land was taken from two states, Maryland and Virginia. The land can be given back. In fact, there is precedent for doing so. In 1847, the former Virginia part of the district was receded back to that
state commonwealth, That area is now the Virginia counties of Arlington and Alexandria.
If the Democrats were truly concerned about D.C. residents having a say in federal affairs, they would support retrocession. But instead they call the proposal a "distraction," pushing ahead for full statehood for Washington, D.C. The real reason why is the Democrats want two more votes in the United States Senate. As of 2016, 76% of registered voters in the district were Democrats while 6% are registered Republicans.
There have been periods of time when the GOP controlled both houses of Congress. Republicans were fools for not using that opportunity to fix the unfairness of Washington, D.C. residents not having a voice in Congress. Now it looks like D.C. statehood might be more a question of when, not if.
OOP's short takes:
- For the record, I'm not against Puerto Rico statehood, that is of course, assuming the residents of the territory want statehood. Unlike Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico has all the characteristics of a state, as opposed to a city.
- In terms of the partisan scorecard, that probably would give the Democrats two more U.S. Senators, though Republicans are competitive in Puerto Rico and have elected GOP Governors of the island. Ironically, Republicans are more competitive in Puerto Rico than they currently are in Hawaii, the only island that is a state.
- In seeking to dismiss the defamation lawsuit filed against her by Dominion Voting Systems, "Attorney" Sydney Powell argues that "no reasonable person" would have believed her claims of election fraud were "factual." Instead Powell claims she was engaging in exaggeration and hyperbole. Yet, to this day millions of Trump supporters fervently believe The Big Lie that Donald Trump only lost because of widespread fraud. Powell is saying in no uncertain terms that Trump supporters who believe The Big Lie are not "reasonable." Finally, Powell is speaking the truth.
- Woke up this morning to a report on the inequities of women and men when it comes to pay. The MSNBC host pointed out that women only make 82 cents of what men make. A guest emphasized that is why Congress needs to pass the latest "equal pay" act.
- In fact, the Equal Pay Act passed Congress and was signed into law in 1963. Since then it has been illegal to pay similarly situated men and women differently when working the same job.
- PayScale issued a 2021 report that included the 82 cents figure now cited by news hosts and guests. But the PayScale report also said that "when men and women with the same employment characteristics do similar jobs, women earn 98 cents for every dollar earned by an equivalent man." While PayScale rightfully criticizes the 2 cent differential, it had to know the misleading 82 cents figure in its report would be the one that gets all the attention.