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House OKs DC statehood as Republicans oppose

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US House poised to advance sweeping police reforms amid protests

Four decades after launching its drive for statehood, Washington, DC, the capital of the United States, was poised to take a step toward becoming the 51st state as the House of Representatives on Friday approved its admission. The measure was voted for by every Democratic member of the House with the exception of Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and received no votes from Republicans. That bill, S.119, passed the Senate last week, and House lawmakers asked for more time to discuss it.

"As long as I am the majority leader in the Senate none of that stuff is going anywhere", he said during a Fox News interview in June 2019. John Kennedy (R-LA) dismissed the disenfranchisement argument made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others for giving the District of Columbia statehood and thereby increasing its representation in Congress.

The rest of the city would become the 51st U.S. state, named the Washington, Douglass Commonwealth after abolitionist Frederick Douglass, according to the bill. Paul Strauss and members of Bowser's team held a champagne toast, wearing commemorative T-shirts and face masks.

Despite having a population larger than that of Vermont or Wyoming, the District's 700,000 residents don't have anyone voting for their interests on the floor of the House or the Senate. 'To honor two of its citizens: one white, one black, both committed to the union and committed to citizenship'. In 2016, a referendum on statehood won support from 78 percent of the District's residents. Cotton also pointed out that the majority of the district's professionals are lobbyists and federal workers - not exactly the kind of industries on which one can build a thriving economy. Some also said Washington was not equipped to be a state and should be absorbed back into Maryland.

In May, President Trump told the New York Post newspaper: "DC will never be a state. Why?"

Advocates from a group called 51 for 51 traveled the country over the past year getting presidential candidates - including presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who tweeted in support of statehood on Thursday - to commit to supporting statehood and an exception to the filibuster.

But House Republican Mo Brooks likened the statehood effort to a power grab by Democrats seeking "two more guaranteed leftwing senators". Arlington is a heavily Democratic city, and was once a part of D.C.

Indeed, voters in the city of Washington have elected only Democratic mayors in recent history.

"We are supposed to be the beacon of hope for human rights in other countries and the Justice In Policing Act is a bill for human rights in our country", said California Rep. Karen Bass, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

"We're living in tumultuous times, and we all know there have been sweeping calls to drastically change law enforcement", said Rep. Nader Hashim (D-Dummerston), a former state trooper, as he virtually presented the bill on the floor. The district now is represented by one non-voting member, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who was first elected in 1991.

Mr Floyd was among a growing number of unarmed African-Americans to die in police custody. But the bill would wipe out the role of Congress in D.C.'s affairs. "This city, this district is a unique entity". "It's very unlikely that D.C. would become a state without any elected Republicans on the Council or in other positions", according to WAMU.

Republican lawmakers largely oppose statehood for the district.

OR lawmakers were working Friday to pass six police accountability measures as part of their response to the protests against racism and police violence across the country.

From coast to coast, protesters chanting "Black lives matter" and "without justice, without peace" joined hundreds of mostly peaceful protests, some risking their own safety.

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