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The House just passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C., the 51st state. Here’s what happens next

House Democrats passed a new D.C. statehood bill, which will now head to the Senate

SHARE The House just passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C., the 51st state. Here’s what happens next
Dawn breaks at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. House Democrats passed a new D.C. statehood bill, which will now head to the Senate

Dawn breaks at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. House Democrats passed a new D.C. statehood bill, which will now head to the Senate.

Associated Press

The House of Representatives passed legislation on Thursday that would make the District of Columbia the 51st state of the United States, according to The Washington Post.

House Democrats approved the Washington, D.C. Admission Act on a 216-208 vote. The vote passed along party lines.

  • The bill — titled H.R. 51 — will now head to the Senate. This will be the first time such a bill will be heard on the Senate floor, according to The Washington Post.

Will Republicans support the vote?

Per The Washington Post, the Senate Republicans “have branded the bill as a Democratic power grab because it would create two Senate seats for the deep-blue city. Not even all Senate Democrats have backed the bill as the clock ticks toward the 2022 midterm election.”

Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart said on KSL Newsradio that the move wouldn’t be supported by Democrats if Washington, D.C., was a Republican stronghold.

  • “This is about politics,” he said on KSL Newsradio.“This is about getting two solid Democratic members of the Senate. That allows them to pack the Supreme Court, allows them to break the filibuster, allows the Green New Deal, allows a whole bunch of incredibly progressive even radical legislation, and that’s what they’re trying to achieve by this.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, does not favor giving D.C. statehood, either. However, he suggested that Congress could compromise and make D.C. “part of a contiguous state and able to vote with that state,” according to the Deseret News.

  • “My own view is that we should maintain the system we have and not try and pack the Senate, like the Democrats are trying to pack the Supreme Court,” Romney said, according to the Deseret News. “But if there were a desire to provide greater representation for the people of D.C., combining D.C. with Maryland, from which the land was originally taken, would make more sense.”

What’s next

Per The Wall Street Journal, the bill will head to the Senate. But Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has not said when he would bring it up on the Senate floor.