Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2014

Currently: 90° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Reid says Washington, D.C., deserves to become a state

Click to enlarge photo

Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid already presides over a body of 100 senators. But he wouldn’t mind if two more join the fold.

At a dedication ceremony for a statue of civil rights leader Frederick Douglas, the first District of Columbian to in the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, Reid said he thought it was high time the District of Columbia be recognized as a state.

“Washington, D.C., residents pay taxes just like residents of Nevada, California or any other state,” Reid said. “The District deserves statehood, and Congress should act to grant it.”

Presently, the District of Columbia is a U.S. territory, a designation that gives residents electoral votes but no representatives to Congress. It has one delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who cannot vote, and elects “shadow senators” to lobby Congress on statehood.

If designated a state, Washington, D.C., would be the smallest state in the Union by area but not by population. It is larger than Wyoming and Vermont.

It is not, however, the largest U.S. territory. That designation goes to Puerto Rico, which voted in favor of a referendum to make Puerto Rico a state in the November 2012 election.

Recently, Puerto Rico’s non-voting delegate to Congress, Pedro Pierluisi, threatened to take Puerto Rico’s statehood case to the United Nations, if the Obama administration doesn’t take steps to advance Puerto Rican statehood.

There are bills in the House and the Senate to designate D.C. as the state of “New Columbia,” but Reid hasn’t indicated when one might come up for a vote.

The last time the Senate voted on D.C. statehood, in 2009, it approved the notion by a vote of 61 to 37. Reid voted in favor of D.C. statehood; then-Nevada Sen. John Ensign voted against it.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 4 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. I guess Congress is tired of screwing the residents of D.C. directly. They want it done through the bureaucracy of state government like it is done for all other citizens.

  2. Judging by the antics of its residents and the forced largess of US taxpayers to support the residents in the style they demand, congress included, DC should become another country so we can cut off any more foreign aid.

    After all we don't send aid to thieves, crooks and despots.

  3. After all we don't send aid to thieves, crooks and despots.

    OOps! Wait, I guess we do.

  4. Bad idea
    not credible
    Just another Harry moment.....
    Sad to see senility settling in Harry.