"For far too long, the more than 700,000 people of Washington, D.C. have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress," the statement from the White House reads. "This taxation without representation and denial of self-governance is an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded. H.R. 51 rights this wrong by making Washington, D.C. a state and providing its residents with long overdue full representation in Congress, while maintaining a Federal District that will continue to serve as our Nation’s seat of government."
The House Oversight Committee voted to advance D.C. statehood legislation last week, sending the bill to a full vote of the House this week.
Under the plan, the 51st state would be called "Washington, Douglass Commonwealth," named for Frederick Douglass. The state would consist of 66 of the 68 square miles of the present-day federal district.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District and has been a long-standing proponent of D.C. statehood, issued a statement of her own, thanking President Joe Biden for his support.
"The residents of our nation’s capital deserve voting representation in Congress and full local self-government, and with Thursday’s House vote and expected passage, along with Democratic control of the Senate and White House, we have never been closer to statehood," Norton says.