House passes DC statehood bill to make district 51st state after heated floor debate

The House of Representatives passed a bill along party lines to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state of the United States. The Senate’s filibuster currently makes the bill’s passage of both chambers impossible without Republican support and five members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have not yet signalled that they will vote for the bill.  Opponents of the bill argue that making the nation’s capital a state should require a constitutional amendment.  Under the bill, the federal capital would still exist, but the state of “Washington, Douglass Commonwealth” would encompass 66 of the current federal district’s 68 square miles.

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