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THE NEWS:

D.C.’s statehood bill is heading to the House floor for a vote, where it’s expected to pass. 

“HISTORY,” tweets Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. “For the first time since 1993, we are heading to the House floor! It’s time for #DCstatehood.” 

If H.R.51 passes, it’ll be the first time any chamber of Congress passes statehood legislation. How did we get here? Decades of advocacy and organizing

The goal of making D.C. the 51st state isn’t without obstacles. Republican lawmakers oppose statehood, citing various reasons like doubts around constitutionality and concerns over parking spaces. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the quiet part aloud in a Fox News interview; he doesn’t back statehood because that would give the Senate two more Democrats.   

During Tuesday’s House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing—where H.R. 51 had to pass before it moved to the full House—Republicans voiced their opposition to statehood and introduced various amendments to undermine the bill. 

DCist’s Rachel Kurzius, who attended the hearing, documents every excuse for opposing statehood in a Twitter thread. Some highlights include Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) essentially blaming D.C. residents for living in a city with no representation, Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) declaring the Founding Fathers wouldn’t want it this way, and Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) reducing D.C. to just a government “town with a little bit of tourism connected to the buildings.” 

The bill ultimately passed committee without any of the anti-abortion and pro-gun amendments attached to it. When it passed, Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement: “It is fitting that this historic vote happened in the midst of Black History Month, for I dare say—achieving D.C. statehood would be black history.”

H.R. 51 will almost certainly die in the Republican-controlled Senate. That’s why statehood activists are also eyeing Senate reform—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)  

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • Attorney General Karl Racine sues three real estate companies for allegedly discriminating against people who use vouchers or are enrolled in rapid rehousing. [DCist

  • President Trump is withdrawing former U.S. Attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu’s nomination to serve in a top position at the Treasury Department. [Axios]

  • Washington Teachers’ Union endorses Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who has weighed in on the closure of an alternative school that the union tried to save. [Twitter, Twitter]

  • The complications of fundraising for NoMa encamped residents. [Street Sense]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd gains support from some in the restaurant industry. [Twitter

  • The shaky legality of D.C.’s anti-mask law, and why marching white nationalists broke it. [WAMU

  • Who will emerge in the Ward 2 race? [DC Line]

  • Marijuana decriminalization passes Virginia House of Delegates. [WAMU]

  • Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s defamation lawsuit dismissed. [CNN]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • The Carolina Reaper wings at Hops N Shine have four-alarm flavor. [WCP]

  • When you’re a food critic and your kid’s a picky eater. [Washingtonian

  • Sweetgreen is messing around with kelp in salads. [Post]

  • Could conveyor belt sushi be returning to Gallery Place? [WBJ]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye and his D.C. band with Joe Lally and Amy Farina are putting out an album on March 27. [DCist]

  • Former PBS host Tavis Smiley goes to trial with the company in a D.C. courtroom, as both sides argue that the other was in breach of contract following his firing. [Post]

  • An Arlington beekeeper tries to inspire the next generation with a new class dedicated to our buzzing friends. [ARLnow]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Reigning WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne is staying with the Mystics after signing a four-year deal. [ESPN]

  • Washington NFL team head coach Ron Rivera reportedly had positive communication with left tackle Trent Williams and could repair what was previously seen as an irreparable situation under former team president Bruce Allen. [NFL.com]

  • Before the World Series, players around the MLB warned the Nationals about how their opponent, the Astros, were cheating. [Post]

  • Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon became the second fastest coach to reach 200 wins in program history. [Testudo Times]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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