DC leaders, allies introduce statehood bills

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Despite the political tide turning against them, District of Columbia leaders are pushing ahead with their efforts to turn the nation's capital into the 51st state.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the District in Congress, will introduce a statehood bill on Wednesday, as she does in every Congress. Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware will introduce a similar bill in the Senate.

And Mayor Muriel Bowser will formally petition Congress to admit the District as a state by approving a constitution submitted by city leaders.

Norton points to the growing number of co-sponsors for her bill as a sign of progress.

Most Republicans oppose statehood, and the new Republican Congress has signaled that it intends to intervene more aggressively in local affairs in the overwhelmingly Democratic city.