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The re-introduced D.C. Statehood bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 51, is having a historic moment with a record 189 co-sponsors as of Jan. 25, 2019—30 of them among the 101 freshman members of the 116th Congress.
“I’m extremely pleased with how fast they’re coming on,” says Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton of the freshmen. “One of the reasons we’re so pleased is because there are members from Trump districts.”
The five co-sponsors from flipped “Trump districts” include Andy Kim (D-N.J., District 3), Susie Lee (D-Nev., District 3), Chris Pappas (D-N.H., District 1), Max Rose (D-N.Y., District 11), and Lauren Underwood (D-Ill., District 14). Underwood is the youngest black woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sixteen of the 42 freshman women have signed on, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled support (though not signed on). Five freshman co-sponsors serve on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform with Norton: Katie Hill(D-Calif., District 25); Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y., District 14); Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass., District 7); Harley Rouda (D-Calif., District 48); and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich., District 13). Norton says her goal is to “get every Democrat [in Congress] on board.”
Norton believes there isn’t an “anti-statehood” movement. The issue does not receive particular attention from President Donald Trump, who unwittingly endorsed statehood in a 2015 interview with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. “Whatever is best for them, I’m for,” Trump said in response to a question from a Facebook user about D.C. statehood. (He included a reference to the Trump International Hotel in the Old Post Office Building.)
Nevertheless, Norton doesn’t see any bipartisan support emerging for some time.
Many Americans—and that includes elected officials—are often surprised when they find out the District of Columbia doesn’t have voting representation in Congress. D.C. residents, who pay both federal and local taxes, have been without representation for over 200 years. If all Democrats in the 116th Congress “friend” H.R. 51, as Norton hopes, it could be D.C.’s best chance to move toward a vote with help from D.C.’s new freshman friends.
Find the full list of freshmen co-sponsors of HR-51 in the 116th Congress below. Additional co-sponsor updates are available on Congress.gov.
Colin Z. Allred (D-Texas, District 32)
Ed Case (D-Hawaii, District 1)
TJ Cox (D-Calif., District 21)
Jason Crow (D-Colo., District 6)
Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill., District 4)
Sylvia R. Garcia (D-Texas, District 29)
Debra A. Haaland (D-N.M., District 1)
Katie Hill (D-Calif., District 25)
Steven Horsford (D-Nev., District 4)
Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa., District 6)
Andy Kim (D-N.J., District 3)
Susie Lee (D-Nev., District 3)
Andy Levin (D-Mich., District 9)
Tom Malinowski (D-N.J., District 7)
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla., District 26)
Joe Neguse (D-Colo., District 2)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y., District 14)
Ilhan Omar (D-Minn., District 5)
Chris Pappas (D-N.H., District 1)
Katie Porter (D-Calif., District 45)
Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass., District 7)
Max Rose (D-N.Y., District 11)
Harley Rouda (D-Calif., District 48)
Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa., District 7)*
Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich., District 13)
Lori Trahan (D-Mass., District 3)
David J. Trone (D-Md., District 6)
Lauren Underwood (D-Ill., District 14)
Jennifer Wexton (D-Va., District 10)
Susan Wild (D-Pa., District 15)*
A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated that Pelosi has signed on to the bill. She has vocalized support.