should Washingston DC become a state?

On June 26th, 2020 the US House of Representatives passed a bill granting statehood to Washington DC.

Does this mean that Washington DC will now become the 51st state?

No.

First, the bill must be introduced and voted on in the Senate. Then it must be signed into law by the president. Even if that were to happen, statehood is likely to be challenged as unconstitutional. Our Constitution states the nation’s capital will be in a neutral federal district governed by Congress.

Want to review your knowledge of government? Watch this video.

What do Washington D.C. Residents Want?

DC residents have been protesting their lack of voting rights since the early 1800s. They were not allowed to vote in Presidential elections until the passage of the 23rdAmendment in 1961. But still, they have no voting representation in Congress.

For the last 20 years, DC’s drivers have been using the “Taxation Without Representation” motto on their license plates. The license plate was designed to show members of Congress the frustration and anger Washingtonians feel about being disenfranchised.

Close to 90% of DC residents favor statehood. These are some of their reasons:

  • Washingtonians pay the highest per capita Federal Income Tax, but have no say in how it is spent.
  • They serve in the military but have no say in declaring war.
  • They have little say in how their city is governed, since all local laws and budgets must be approved by Congress.
  • They are often given fewer federal resources than people who live in states. (including recent coronavirus funding.)
  • The president can order federal troops into the city with little political oppostion becasue there are no senators or members of congress to protest.

Arguments for Statehood

The black and white area would be the new federal district. The rest would become the new state of Washingston Douglas Commonwealth. Source: CNN
  • All citizens have a right to be represented in government.
  • DCs population is slightly over 700,000 people. That is higher than the population of Vermont or Wyoming and about the same as Alaska.
  • No other world nation denies voting rights to the citizen of it’s capital.
  • The small part of Washington DC that contains the White House, Capital and other federal buildings can remain a federal district. The large residential areas can become a new state. That way it’s constitutional.

Arguments Against Statehood

  • The US Constitution prevents the Washingston DC from being a state. James Madison asserted that if the nation’s capital were in a state, that state would have too much power. Members of Congress would be likely to favor it because they lived there part time. This would not be fair to other states.
  • The better option is for the residential portion of Washington DC to be returned to Maryland, rather than become a new state.
  • Why upset the status quo? Fifty is a good number. Who wants to redesign the flag?
  • DC Statehood is just a political ploy for the Democrats to gain additional power in the Senate. The new state would get 2 Senators, and they would most likely be Democrats.
  • Utilities and services need to be maintained for the federal district. Who would plow the roads, put out fires, take away trash, etc? Would the Federal Government need to depend on the new state to do this? If so it would give the state too much power.

What do you think?

Share your opinion in the Comment Box. Don’t forget to hit “Enter”!

Rating: 5

37 thoughts on “should Washingston DC become a state?”

  1. Hmmm, I mean I would want Washington DC to become a state because then the people get more say in what they do and 90% of DC residents do want it to become a state. They have pretty much no say in what they do. But if they were to become a state they might have too much power and it wouldn’t be fair to other states. So I’m kinda shaky on this one but I think that people do deserve the right to speak out and be heard.

  2. I think Washington D.C. should NOT become a state. If it became a state, some people in government might favor the state of D.C. We’d also have to redesign the flag to accommodate 1 extra star/state. Democrats would most likely become senators, and that’s unfair for people of other parties. You’d need new state laws, garbage people, and other things. Who wants to change everything for one city, our capital, that became a state? No one. It may sound lazy to not at least try to change it, and I promise, it’s not laziness. It’s way too much change and responsibility to declare a new state. Let’s stick with what we’ve got.

  3. I think Washington DC should not have statehood, because we have 50 states. The number 50 means personal freedom. So why would we wreck that number? America is known for its freedom. Also, I agree with James Madison that a nation’s capital would have too much power as a state. It would quickly become a dictatorship state.

  4. I think that the capital should become a state as this is something that is long overdue and the people of Washington D.C. deserve to have a say in their country especially since it is the capital.

  5. I don’t think Washington d.c. should become a state because it is only a small region in the district of Colomba. And we would have to change the number of stars on the flag and change all the songs that we wrote about the 50 states.

  6. I think Washington D.C. should not become a state. We would have to recreate the flag to add another star. The state of maryland will have to be pulled apart from the state of “DC” if it was made. Also, there is a lot going on in the world right now and this will just make it worse.

  7. I don’t think Washington D.C. should become a state. First, it would get too much power because it would be favored by Congressmen. Statehood would also allow for more representation in Congress from the Washington D.C. area, most likely from a certain political party. Second, I don’t think it is a good idea for Washington D.C. to become a state because it will be confusing and tedious to change the symbolic 50 states of America to 51 states. It would be pretty hard to change all the textbooks, songs, flags, and maps.

  8. I believe that Washington D.C should not become a state. Here are some reasons: Although these people want a say, if they are given the opportunity, they will have to much power, it will be unfair for other political parties because there will be 2 more democratic senators, and finally, 51 states does not seem right. Why redesign the whole flag, for one state, which is supposed to be the capital of our country?

  9. I think Washington D.C should not become a state. Then we would have 51 states which is not a nice evening number. We might also have to change the flag to 51 stars. I think the United States is good with just 50 states and how it is. I like how our country is now, but if we change it, who knows what will happen. That is why I think Washington D.C should it become a state.

  10. I don’t really think Washington D.C. should become an individual state, even today. As it was stated by James Madison in the past, because it is the country’s capital, it would be unfair to the citizens in other states and give them too much power. Also if the chances of Washington D.C. were to create a new state, it would take a lot more work for the entire county altogether (designing a new flag, putting in new laws, etc.)

  11. I think Washington D.C. should not become a state. I think this because the country is fine just the way it is with 50 States. Why change it? Also, if Washington D.C. becomes a state, we might have to redesign the whole flag just because of it.

  12. I think D.C. should not become a state because the some of the nation’s leaders will favor them and they would have more power than the other states of America. Also, if Washington D.C. becomes a state, then everything showing the USA’s flag would have to be thrown out and updated. This also applies to books and stuff.

  13. No, I do not think Washington DC should be a state because I agree that it would be unfair to other states because Washing DC would be favored over other states due to the Congress living there a for some time.

  14. I think that Washington D.C should become whatever it’s residents want it to become. a shocking 90% of DC residents want their bustling city to become state number 51. Washington D.C. has more people living in it than the states of Wyoming and Vermont, and about the same population as Alaska, the biggest sate in the USA. Furthermore, the US was to be a land of the free, but in this land of the free, the people of the capitol are denied voting rights, no other country of Planet Earth does this. Washington DC is a state at heart, so why is DC still just a city?

    Rating: 5
    1. Fair point you bring up there! Here’s some food for thought: if Washington D.C. became a state, that would mean that America’s capital would be a state rather than a city. What is your opinion on that?

  15. A 51’st state?? No thanks. I think that Washington DC should not be a state. One of the more important reasons that Washington DC shouldn’t be a state is because of the FLAG. 51 stars!! It would totally ruin the look of the flag. Second, it’s not very important. It’s just more work and more protests and more resources… over a label for a piece of land. Yup. Another thing that I noticed is that one of the arguments against Washington being a state was that the state would get too much power. I think this is true – people could use the fact that ALL THREE of the major branches (the white house, the supreme court, and the congress) are right slap in D. C. , and that’s going to be unfair. The entire government is in one place – and if it gets turned into a state, then people there would get more power over the other states. It is the entire government, anyway. All in all, I think that Washington D. C should remain a capital. No need for a new state!

  16. I don’t think Washington D. C. should be a state. The reason I think this is because the US will have to redesign the flag and America won’t be known as the country with 50 states anymore because of another state being added. Who would want to redo the flag??

  17. I don’t think Washington D.C. should be a state. It would totally just be confusing, especially for younger kids. Imagine having to learn all the states, and being a 1st grader and having to know the difference between the 2 Washingtons. Washington D.C. state, and Washington state?? I’m confused and I’m not even in elementary school anymore. Yes, they should be allowed to vote and stuff, but it becoming a full state and having a 51 star flag, and having to remember where this tiny spot of land is on the map might be better off for all of us.

  18. Washington DC should not become a state because if it did it would have too much power. Politicians would favor the state and it is such a small territory to be considered anyways. It is just a city essentially and it already has a little bit of a special status because of its unique location. The flag would have to be changed which is inconvenient since 50 is a very nice and even number and although that is a minor issue, it just adds to the argument that Washington DC should not become a state.

  19. I do not think DC should be a state, but if the residents pay taxes and have no say in government which is not fair, then I agree with the alternative to make them part of Maryland. It should remain as is. Do not change the flag.

  20. I don’t think that Washington DC should be a state because it doesn’t seem right to me. And the constitution says against it. However, I think that the residents of Washington DC votes should count in congress.

  21. I think that Washington DC should and shouldn’t become a state. I don’t think this because then maybe government officials will favor them more… but i think we should count Their votes in government, and 90% of people living in DC want it to become a state, so I don’t really know…

  22. I don’t think Washington D.C. should become a state. This is because they would probably have too much power in Congress. Also, it would upset the balance between two major political parties in the Senate. Additionally, it would be very time-consuming to change the history of our flag by adding another star to represent another state.

  23. Washington DC becoming a state has its pros and cons. After reading both sides, I believe it would be easier for Washington DC’s residential areas to be partitioned by neighboring states, while the parts containing government buildings would remain a federal district. This would give DC citizens the right to vote while not having to interrupt the status quo or redesign the flag.

  24. Yes. It is not fair that our nations capital is not a state. That says something about America! People should have a say in how there taxes are spent. It is one of the most places to visit. The president does not live in a official state. We have to fix this.

    Rating: 4
  25. I think it should be a state so that Federal taxes are used appropriately for the Washingtonians. Also, I think sectioning off the White House and Capital would make sense, the remaining section of DC could be a state

    Rating: 5
  26. I don’t think that Washington D.C. should become a state because then the capital of the country would be a state and that doesn’t feel right. Also, we would have 51 states which means 51 stars on our flag and then we would have to update our flag.

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