The statehood movement got a win today in its long—-and very uphill—-battle to make D.C. the country’s 51st state.

Sen. Tom Carper, the Democratic chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, called a hearing for D.C. statehood on Monday, Sept. 15—-the first such hearing in more than 20 years. Carper is a sponsor of the Senate’s statehood bill. Monday’s hearing will discuss the implications of the New Columbia Admission Act of 2013, which also has the support of majority leader Harry Reid.

(OK, it’s a small win.)

“As chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Carper has a great many responsibilities, but the statehood hearing he announced today shows how seriously he has taken his District of Columbia jurisdiction,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton says in a press release. “The Carper statehood hearing, the President’s endorsement of statehood in July, and Majority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement of his cosponsorship show a troika of leadership that demonstrates the growing strength of equal citizenship for D.C. residents.”

It’s still unlikely, to say the least, that the New Columbia Admission Act passes Congress. Even if—-and that’s a big if—-it passes the Democratic Senate, it would still have to get approval from the Republican-controlled House, who, well, don’t want a new, majority Democratic state.

Correction: Sen. Carper is the sponsor of the D.C. statehood bill, not a co-sponsor.

Photo by Mr. T in D.C. via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0