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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 86 History

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HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 86

(By Delegates Skaff, Hornbuckle, Walker, Barach, Griffith, Pushkin, Evans, Zukoff, Garcia, Diserio, and Thompson)

[February 21, 2022]

 

Proclaiming and declaring support for admitting Washington, D.C. into the Union as a state of the United States of America and to urge the United States Congress to enact legislation granting statehood to the people of Washington, D.C.

Whereas, The people living on the land that would eventually be designated as the District of Columbia were provided the right to vote for representation in Congress when the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788; and

Whereas, The passage of the Organic Act of 1801 placed the District of Columbia under the exclusive authority of Congress and abolished residents' right to vote for members of Congress and the President and Vice President of the United States; and

Whereas, Residents of the District of Columbia were granted the right to vote for electors of the President and Vice President through passage of the Twenty–third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1961, but they still lack full representation in Congress; and

Whereas, As of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the District of Columbia's resident population is almost 690,000, comparable to the populations of Wyoming (576,851), Vermont (643,077), Alaska (733,391), and North Dakota (779,094); and

Whereas, Residents of the District of Columbia share all of the responsibilities of citizenship, including paying federal taxes, serving on federal juries, and defending the country as members of the U.S. Armed Forces, yet they are denied full representation in Congress; and

Whereas, Congress has repeatedly interfered with the District of Columbia's limited self–government by enacting laws that affect its expenditure of locally-raised tax revenue. This interference has included barring the use of local revenue, violating a fundamental principle of democracy that states and local governments are best suited to enact legislation that represents the will of their citizens; and

Whereas, Although the District of Columbia has passed consecutive balanced budgets since 1997, it still faces the possibility of being shut down yearly because of congressional deliberations over the federal budget; and

Whereas, The residents of the District of Columbia lack full democracy, equality, and citizenship enjoyed by the residents of the 50 states; and

Whereas, No other democratic nation denies the right of self-government, including participation in its national legislature, to the residents of its capital. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on Congress to address the District of Columbia's lack of political equality, and the Organization of American States has declared the disenfranchisement of District of Columbia residents a violation of its charter agreement to which the United States is a signatory; and

Whereas, The residents of the District of Columbia have endorsed statehood and passed a referendum on November 8, 2016, which favored statehood with nearly 86 percent of voters approving; and

Whereas, It is time for Congress to act on this matter and grant residents of Washington, D.C., the same rights enjoyed by residents of the 50 states.  District of Columbia U.S. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Delaware U.S. Senator Tom Carper have introduced H.R. 51 and S. 51, respectively, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, to admit the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth into the Union; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That we support admitting Washington, D.C. into the Union as a state of the United States of America and urge the United States Congress to enact legislation granting statehood to the people of Washington, D.C.; and, be it

Further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the West Virginia congressional delegation.

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