Candidates on D.C. Statehood
Joe Biden (D)
Former U.S. Vice President
51for51 (2/25/20): “Absolutely, I have for the last 28 years. Yes [with 51 votes in the Senate].”
Iowans for DC Statehood (2/3/20): Biden pictured with an Iowans for DC Statehood sign.
51for51 (8/8/19): “[The District of Columbia] should be a state… I have supported statehood for 36 years.”
NBC 4 Washington (7/31/19): “His deputy national press secretary said ‘his view is the same [as in 2015], and he supports it.’”
Iowans for D.C. Statehood (7/15/19): Biden said he would commit to work with Congress to get D.C. statehood.
Iowans for DC Statehood (5/1/19): Biden pictured with a D.C. Statehood pin.
DC press conference on national public infrastructure (1/16/15): “You should be a state.”
Mic (5/9/13): “There should be two Senators from the State of D.C.”
Kamala Harris (D)
California U.S. Senator
@SenKamalaHarris (6/25/20): “DC should be a state. Pass it on.”
51for51 (11/23/19): “I went to Howard University… Let me just tell you, I’m really clear about this. It is unfair on its face: taxation without representation – see I know the slogan. I know what I’m talking about. I’m there. I agree with you.”
@TyHobsonPowell (11/22/19): “No taxation without representation. I’m there.”
@SenKamalaHarris (9/19/19): “More than 700,000 Americans in Washington, D.C. are being denied full representation in Congress. This isn’t just undemocratic—it’s a longstanding injustice that must end. Proud to support #DCstatehood, which is finally getting a Congressional hearing today.”
Donald Trump (R)
President of the United States
Fox News (10/1/20): “They [Democrats] are also going to add two or three new states. I heard Guam and two others that you mentioned, as you know, that would give them six automatic Senate seats – automatic, no chance, it would be very unfair – and twenty-something congressional seats. So that’s what they want to do. So if you, if you give them what they want, we really have a one-party system. You could never catch up. So they’ll be talking about anywhere from four to six Senators. Republicans can’t win those states, although I’ve been better to Puerto Rico than any other President. I’ve given them a lot of help. But if you take a look at what’s happening, they’re not good to Puerto Rico, but I’ve been good to Puerto Rico. I have a great relationship to Puerto Rico. But they’re looking for statehood – a lot of Puerto Ricans don’t want statehood. They’re doing better the way it is now frankly. But they want to – and you’ve been seeing this, this has been taking place – they want to put two or three states so they want to have, they want to have fifty-three, right, fifty-three. What’s the flag going to look like, right Sean? What’s the flag going to look like? They want to have fifty-three or fifty-two. Depending on what they do, I guess they could probably do even more than that. We have islands all over the place. What if they go for the whole ball game? So it’s a very, very sad thing for our country – very, very sad thing – and in all fairness to Mitch, he did not want to do the nuclear option and I disagreed because I said they’re going to do it and it turns out they are. But he’s a legitimate guy. He is, he wasn’t going to do the nuclear option because he thought it was bad for our country so I understood that, I didn’t go wild, but I did say it would be good to do it because they’re going to do it. So it’s a very sad thing. So you’re going to have two or three more states added, you’re going to have four or six Senators added – one hundred percent Democrat, one hundred percent – you’re going to have maybe twenty congressional candidates or districts added and it’s really a horrible thing, it’s going to be very unfair. You’re going to end up having a one-party system in the United States. So people want to stop they, you’ve got to vote against the Democrats.”
The White House Statement of Administration Policy (6/24/20): “The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. This bill is unconstitutional because the retrocession of portions of the District of Columbia into a separate state would violate the 23rd Amendment. This Amendment, ratified in 1961, contemplates a District of the proportions then in effect as a basis for the allocation of presidential electors. If, as H.R. 51 proposes, the District were reduced to a small jurisdiction made up of essentially only Federal buildings, the 23rd Amendment would give the tiny population of individuals living within those borders the same voting power in the Electoral College as the smallest state in the country. The scheme proposed in H.R. 51 would likely also require Maryland to agree separately that a portion of the land it originally ceded to form the District could now become a separate State. Article IV, Section 3, of the Constitution requires a State’s consent before a new State is formed from land within its borders.
In addition, H.R. 51 would create an opportunity for a new State of Washington, D.C. to dominate the capital and render those who meet there beholden to its interests, rather than the interests of the Nation as a whole. As outlined in Federalist 43, the Framers feared that the seat of government confined to the jurisdiction of a single State would not be sufficiently independent and might, therefore, prefer local instead of national interests. Even though H.R. 51 contemplates continued congressional authority over the technical seat of government, its reduction of that area to such a small size would impose serious practical limitations on that authority. Because the new State would entirely surround the reserved capital region of certain Federal buildings and monuments, a State of Washington, D.C. could achieve outsized authority in some respects as compared to the other 50 States. For example, given its small size, the Federal capital would depend entirely on the new State of Washington, D.C. for most, if not all, of the necessary modern services, which directly implicates a concern that troubled the Framers.
The constitutional vision of our Framers for our capital was sound. We should not seek to undermine that vision through unconstitutional means like H.R. 51.”
New York Post (5/2/20): “DC will never be a state. You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No thank you. That’ll never happen. They want to do that so they pick up two automatic Democrat — you know it’s 100 percent Democrat, basically — so why would the Republicans ever do that? That’ll never happen unless we have some very, very stupid Republicans around that I don’t think you do. You understand that, right? Why don’t you just take two senators and put them in there? No, it’s not gonna happen. And how many House seats is it? Like four, three or four? Whatever it is. You’d have three or four more congressmen and two more senators, every single day of every single year. And it would never change. No, the Republicans would never do that.”
New York Post (12/28/19): White House removes DC’s protest license plates from Trump’s limo.
NBC/D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (12/6/16): Trump was interested in hearing about D.C. residents’ “very huge vote” in favor of urging Congress to endorse making the District the 51st state in the union and he was impressed with how popular and how much support it had in the District.
Washington Post (3/21/16): “I think statehood is a tough thing for D.C. I think it’s a tough thing. I don’t have a position on it yet. I would form a position. But I think statehood is a tough thing for D.C…. I think it’s just something that I don’t think I’d be inclined to do. I’d like to study it. It’s not a question really – maybe Chuck didn’t ask me like you’re asking me – I don’t see statehood for D.C… I think that’s something that would be okay. Having representation would be okay.”
NBC (8/16/15): “I would like to do whatever is good for the District of Columbia because I love the people. You know, it’s funny. I’ve really gotten to know the people, the representatives, and the mayor, and everybody. They’re really special people. They’re great. And they have a great feeling. So I would say whatever’s best for them, I’m for… I mean, people are talking about that. I’d look at it. I’d certainly look at it.”
Mike Pence (R)
Vice President of the United States
I believe after much consideration that this legislation is a constitutional remedy to a historic wrong. Now, while many have focused on the political consequences of such a move, I believe the only question for a Member of Congress on such matters is this: What does justice demand and what does the Constitution permit this Congress to do about it?
The fact that more than half a million Americans live in the District of Columbia and are denied a single voting representative in Congress is clearly a historic wrong, and justice demands that it be addressed. At the time of the adoption of our present system of government, the Federal city did not exist apart from a reference in the Constitution. And when the District of Columbia opened for business in 1801, only a few thousand residents lived within her boundaries. Among our Founders, only Alexander Hamilton would foresee the bustling metropolis that the
District of Columbia would become, and he himself was an advocate of voting representation.
The demands of history in favor of representation for the Americans living in Washington, D.C. are compelling. In establishing the Republic, the single overarching principle of the American founding was that laws should be based on the consent of the governed. The first generation of Americans threw tea in Boston Harbor simply because they were denied a voting representative in the British Parliament. Given their fealty to representative democracy, it is inconceivable to me that our Founders would have been willing to accept the denial of representation to so great a throng of Americans in perpetuity.
But the demands of justice are not enough for Congress to act. As many of my colleagues have eloquently stated, under the principles of limited government, a republic may only take that action which is expressly authorized in its written constitution. In this regard, I believe that H.R. 1433 is constitutional. And I am not alone in this view.
In support of this legislation, Judge Kenneth Starr, former independent counsel and U.S. Solicitor General observed: “There is nothing in our Constitution’s history or its fundamental principles suggesting that the framers intended to deny the precious right to vote to those who live in the capital of the great democracy they founded.”
Now, opponents of D.C. voting rights understandably cite the plain language of Article I of the Constitution that the House of Representatives be comprised of representatives elected “by the people of the several States.” Now if this were the only reference to the powers associated with the Federal city, it would be persuasive, but it is not. Article I, section 8, clause 17 provides that “Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever” over the District of Columbia.
In 1984, it would be Justice Scalia who would observe that the seat of government clause gives the Congress “extraordinary and plenary power” over our Nation’s capital.
And Congress has used this power to remedy the rights of Americans in the District of Columbia in the past. In 1949, the Supreme Court upheld legislation that extended access to the Federal courts to citizens of the district even though Article III expressly limited jurisdiction of those courts to citizens of States. As Judge Starr observed: “The logic of this case applies here,” and I agree.
But one caveat, Madam Speaker. None of this argues for the District of Columbia ever to be granted a right to elect Members to the Senate. From the inception of our Nation, this House of Representatives was an extension of the people. The Senate, from the inception of our Nation, was an extension of the States. If the people of the District of Columbia would like two seats in the United States Senate, under the Constitution, they will have to become a State.
You know, the Old Book tells us what is required: do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God. I believe that justice demands that we right this historic wrong. The American people should have representation in the people’s House. I believe that kindness demands that we do the right thing for all Americans regardless of race or political creed, and I believe that humility demands that we do so in a manner consistent with our Constitution.
The D.C. House Voting Rights Act meets this test, and I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to play some small role in leading our constitutional Republic ever closer to a more perfect Union.
I commend the gentleman from Virginia and my colleague, the delegate from the District of Columbia, for their yeoman’s work on this legislation.”
Michael Bennet (D)
Colorado U.S. Senator
Official Campaign Website: “Make the District of Columbia a state.”
D.C. Statehood co-sponsor of S. 631 (2019-2021)
Iowans for DC Statehood (7/14/19): Bennet pictured with Iowans for DC Statehood.
51for51 (7/12/19): “I do support D.C. becoming a state.”
Michael Bloomberg (D)
Twitter @MikeBloomberg (1/22/20): “I hope some day soon we’ll be calling [Murial Bowser] ‘Governor Bowser.’ I do think the time has come for D.C. to become a state with full voting rights and as President I’ll work with Congress to make that happen.”
Students for D.C. Statehood via. Nicholas Rathod, Senior Advisor (1/09/20): “An announcement is coming soon… probably favorable to statehood.”
Cory Booker (D)
New Jersey U.S. Senator
PD Williamson @NJSocActionDST (2/26/20): Booker discussed D.C. Statehood with the New Jersey delegation of Delta Sigma Theta.
Iowans for DC Statehood (12/6/19): Booker is a strong supporter of D.C. statehood.
Twitter @CoryBooker (9/19/19): “Proud to stand alongside my friend @MurielBowser in calling on Congress to grant DC statehood—anything less is voter suppression, plain and simple. Tune in to watch the historic hearing here: http://bit.ly/isupportdc! #DCStatehood”
Students for D.C. Statehood (7/17/19): “You students will play a big role in getting this done, keep up the work.”
Iowa Democratic Black Caucus Town Hall (4/16/19): “As a guy that was born in Washington, D.C., I fully support D.C. Statehood… Bigger than two states… To think about being an American that the federal government is actually the authority over where you live… and the federal government keeps telling them they can’t do it and they don’t have a vote or a say. I think I remember that there was a revolution about that. It’s called taxation without representation. You kind of remember some country had a revolution over those issues. I, as a guy who was born in D.C., has family in D.C., this is an issue I take very, very personally. And again what’s holding us back unfortunately is: the majority has the rights over the minority in this case. We’ve got to convince a legislature to pass D.C. statehood and it’s going to be hard to do… You have to understand, you’ve always got to take a step of empathy and understand what other people might think. The Republicans in the Senate will think to myself: Wait a minute – I want to give two more Democratic senators to this city? And so how do you do it? Understand when you’re at a negotiating table – I did this when I was a mayor negotiating – I put myself in the position of the person I’m trying to negotiate or work with to understand where they’re coming. So we’ve got to figure out – that will always be the logjam that will come down to it. We’ve got to figure out a strategy to get through that. It’s something I was talking directly with the Mayor at a new wonderful restaurant in Anacostia and I’m going to try to figure out a strategy to get those folks taxation with representation in the legislature.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/16/19): Booker held a D.C. statehood pin.
Twitter @CoryBooker (10/7/17): “I do support DC statehood. Have for years. I was born in DC and feel strongly about the issue.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (6/7/17): Booker said he supports D.C. statehood.
Twitter @CoryBooker (2/21/14): “Why not today. I support it. MT @51stDC: One of these days we’ll get Cory Booker to tweet his thoughts on #DCStatehood”
Steve Bullock (D)
U.S. Senator (Shadow) Paul Strauss (7/31/19): Bullock confirmed his support for D.C. statehood and promised his continued support for D.C.’s political equality.
51for51 (6/9/19): “I support D.C. becoming a state.”
Pete Buttigieg (D)
Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor
Official Campaign Website: “Democracy means that U.S. citizens from Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico deserve political representation. True political representation for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The problems faced by people living in D.C. and Puerto Rico are no less important than the problems faced by U.S. citizens in our 50 states. Americans in the District of Columbia are entitled to a House member with voting power and two Senators. Puerto Rico should have immediate representation in the Electoral College, and if the people of Puerto Rico want statehood, that should be welcomed by the United States. We saw the direct consequences of Puerto Rico’s disenfranchisement with the Trump Administration’s disastrous denial of aid after Hurricane Maria — every citizen deserves a full voice.”
Official Campaign Website: “DC Statehood and Electoral College: We will give full political representation to the people of D.C. If it were a state, Washington, D.C. would have the highest proportion of Black citizens–approximately 50%–of any state. Indeed, it would be the only state in the union where Black Americans were not a racial minority. We need Congress to redefine the District of Columbia to include only government buildings in the city center and create a new state, “New Columbia,” from the remaining territory. This would give D.C.’s roughly 700,000 residents the full representation afforded to every state: one congressperson, two Senators, and three Electoral Votes. The newly redefined District of Columbia would still be entitled to three electoral votes by the 23rd Amendment, which we propose awarding to the winner of the National Popular Vote. This would eliminate the possibility of an Electoral College tie, which at present would allow Congress to decide the winner of a presidential election regardless of the popular vote.”
Kailani Koenig @kailanikm (2/16/20): “Do you know that if DC were a state it would be the most African American state in the union?”
VICE News (1/20/20): [What are some of the blackest cities in America?] “…Washington, D.C. – that’s what Washington, D.C. out to be a state, by the way, with a Senator.”
DJ Judd @DCJudd (12/5/19): “In a country we like to think of as a democracy, our fellow US citizens in Puerto Rico and DC lack political representation. If DC were a state, it would be the most African American state in the union. And you gotta wonder whether that has something to do with the fact that people who have the same problems you and I do, who live in the District of Columbia, do not have a voting United States Senator or member that has the power to look after you.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (11/2/19): Buttigieg said we have to keep fighting for D.C. Statehood.
Noah Wills @noah_g_wills (10/19/19): “I want you to know that it is not just here, but also in places like Iowa, that I point out that we’re not a democracy if the District of Columbia is denied proper political representation.”
Twitter @PeteButtigieg (9/19/19): “Sometimes politics is simple. Either you believe in democratic representation for all citizens or you don’t. If you do, D.C. should be a state.”
Washington Examiner (8/17/19): “If we’re talking about territories, let’s make sure that the people of D.C. actually get senators, let’s make sure that the people of Puerto Rico are actually treated like the fellow U.S. citizens that they are, and let’s make sure that we have some handle on financial future of this country, then maybe we can talk about whether there’s any other territory to add or subtract… Greenland is not our problem right now. The American economy is our problem right now.”
CNN Democratic Presidential Debate (7/30/19): “When I propose the actual structural democratic reforms that might make a difference… have D.C. actually be a state… people look at me funny.”
NBC (6/13/19): “I’m afraid we’re taking our democracy for granted, but right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do to make it easier to vote, to make it easier to register to vote, and to make sure that all of our votes count equally, which in my opinion means making sure that places like D.C. and Puerto Rico get to be states and making sure we get rid of the Electoral College so that a vote in Indiana counts the same as a vote in New York.”
51for51 (6/9/19): “Absolutely [supports D.C. becoming the 51st state].”
DC Vote (5/21/19): Buttigieg promised to keep talking about statehood across the country.
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/17/19): “Yes, D.C. ought to be a state. D.C. ought to… you’re fellow Americans, fellow U.S. citizens who lack political representation and it’s one of the things I’m getting at when I talk about why democracy ought to rise on our list of priorities. And the thing about democracy is: it’s an example of one of those things that’s always important, but never seemed urgent. Right? We always cared about it. I think most of us have always felt that it’s kind of wrong or strange to have some of these undemocratic qualities whether it’s the lack of D.C. statehood or money in politics or districts or whatever. It just never felt like one of the two or three top things we had to deal with because a lot of the times it feels like the house is on fire. And yet I think if 2016 taught us anything, it’s that we get terrible outcomes and we’ll continue to get terrible outcomes until we have our democracy repaired. And part of that, put very simply, is making sure that U.S. citizens have fair representation. Now there are partisan, political reasons that that is being blocked, but they’re not good reasons. Nobody has a good reason in principle for why a server at a restaurant who lives in an apartment in D.C. ought to be treated any differently than her counterpart in Des Moines or in South Bend. So I have not yet heard a remotely convincing moral argument, or even political argument, other than that, you know, one side that thinks it will make them worse off. I’m sorry, that’s not, that’s not an acceptable reason. And, by the way, I recently spoke with the Governor of Puerto Rico, where, you know, what happened to them in response to Hurricane Maria I think would never had happened if they had Electoral Votes on the U.S. Presidency. So you’ll hear a lot about that from me and we’re going to have to keep pushing. And again, it’s making sure it says high enough on the list that it actually gets action.”
Pete Buttigieg Campaign Announcement (4/14/19): “It’s nowhere near the democracy that I swore to protect with my life when U.S. citizens from Washington, D.C. to Puerto Rico don’t even have the same political representation as the rest of us.”
Pod Save America (3/1/19): “It’s OK to ask… whether the House has the right number of representatives or whether the U.S. has the right number of states, which by the way it doesn’t… D.C. for sure.”
Metrosource (2/12/19): “The first priority has to be democracy itself. I don’t think we’re going to be able to solve most of our major policy issues if we don’t first improve our political system where those issues come to get heard. That means everything from redistricting reform and addressing money in politics to making sure our democracy is more democratic by reconsidering the electoral college and looking at statehood for a place like D.C. and making sure people in the territories have equal rights. Every generation up until now has seen America grow more democratic, not less, and I don’t want ours to be the first where the reverse is true — but we’re on track for that if nothing changes.”
Twitter @PeteButtigieg (2/7/19): “Democracy is front and center right now, but some very important dimensions (like electoral college reform, DC statehood) get way too little attention. We must not become the first generation to see USA get less democratic versus more.”
Julián Castro (D)
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary
51for51 (7/30/19): “I believe in D.C. statehood.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/15/19): Castro wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Twitter @JulianCastro (3/25/19): “Our nation succeeds when more Americans can participate in democracy. Important 1st steps: eliminate Electoral College, require independent redistricting, automatic/same-day voter reg, E-Day as a fed holiday, support DC statehood & self-determination for Puerto Rico”
Bill de Blasio (D)
New York City, New York Mayor
51for51 (6/23/19): “51st state – I believe, yes sir… You have been disenfranchised for too long. There’s an injustice in this country and it’s right in our Nation’s Capital. ”
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/9/19): de Blasio said he supports D.C. statehood.
United State Conference of Mayors (6/27/16): de Blasio co-sponsored a resolution in support of Statehood for Washington, D.C.
John Delaney (D)
Former Maryland U.S. Representative
Team Delaney @TeamDelaneyIA (2/3/20): Delaney lent his campaign bus to the D.C. statehood campaign.
VICE News (1/20/20): [What state has the best BBQ?] “I think D.C. – which is not a state, it should be and it will under my presidency – has great BBQ.”
51for51 (6/9/19): “I kind of felt like I was representing D.C. a little bit when I was in the Congress because I was like I know all these great folks in D.C. and they don’t have kind of a voice so I would always try to include them in my like town halls and stuff like that so, you know, I actually think, you know, they should, of course they should… I want D.C. to be a state so I will do anything I can.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/7/19): Delaney held a D.C. statehood pin.
Washington Post (11/20/18): “I’m entirely supportive of [statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico]. It’s ridiculous that citizens in D.C. don’t get full voting rights. You can put a ‘taxation without representation’ sticker on my bus.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (2/15/18): After being questioned on whether he would remain a supporter of D.C. statehood if elected president, Delaney responded that he would not be an active supporter and that he did not think it would happen anytime soon.
PR51st: “John Delaney, a former Congressman, is openly supporting statehood for both Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.”
Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Hawaii U.S. Representative
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
New York U.S. Senator
Students for D.C. Statehood (9/19/19): “I’m not ready to give up on statehood, you deserve two senators and a representative.”
Twitter @gillibrandny (9/19/19): “It’s an injustice that the 700k taxpaying Americans who reside in our nation’s capital aren’t guaranteed representation in Congress. Today @MayorBowser urges Congress to grant #DCStatehood and equal representation. Watch the hearing:”
U.S. Senator (Shadow) Paul Strauss (7/13/19): Gillibrand re-confirmed her support for statehood and said “we want [Paul Strauss] to be a full Senator someday!”
51for51 (6/22/19): Gillibrand supports statehood and the 51 for 51 campaign.
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/9/19): Gillibrand said she supports D.C. statehood.
Twitter @SenGillibrand (5/20/19): “Democracy doesn’t mean “for some of us.” It’s time for Washington, DC to have statehood and equal representation in Congress, and we should only need a simple majority to make it happen.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (6/7/17): Gillibrand said she supports D.C. statehood.
John Hickenlooper (D)
Former Colorado Governor
Iowans for DC Statehood (7/14/19): Hickenlooper pictured with Iowans for DC Statehood.
51for51 (6/22/19): Hickenlooper supports statehood and the 51 for 51 campaign.
Washington Post (4/1/19): “Hickenlooper supports statehood for Washington, D.C., he told The Post.”
Jay Inslee (D)
51for51 (7/13/19): “We’re going to get you statehood! Yes, I have [supported D.C. statehood] for a long time.”
51for51 (6/9/19): Inslee supports statehood and the 51 for 51 campaign.
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/4/19): Inslee held a D.C. statehood pin.
Twitter @JayInslee (5/21/19): “Kill the filibuster. Statehood for DC. Climate action for all.”
Twitter @JayInslee (4/16/19): “I supported D.C. statehood as a freshman congressman in 1993. I still support it today. We must make sure that D.C. has full representation in our democracy. Happy D.C. Emancipation Day.”
We the People (4/1/19): “Now I also ought to believe – we got about 600,000-700,000 people right here in the Nation’s Capital that don’t have a vote. That’s ridiculous. They got to get a vote as well.”
Washington Post (4/1/19): “Inslee supports statehood for Washington, D.C., he told The Post.”
Vox (3/1/19): “I’ve always supported statehood for Puerto Rico and DC. People have got to have representation — 700,000 people in the District of Columbia is as large as Wyoming.”
Amy Klobuchar (D)
Minnesota U.S. Senator
U.S. Representative (Shadow) Franklin Garcia (2/1/20): Klobuchar pictured with Iowans for DC Statehood sign.
NBC 4 Washington (7/31/19): “she… [had] a petition on her campaign website, where voters [could] add their names to support statehood for the District.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/13/19): Klobuchar held a D.C. statehood pin.
We the People Summit (4/1/19): “I am proud to support statehood for Washington, D.C. I don’t think you should have a big group of people that don’t have anyone to represent them in Congress. And it’s that simple. It means that you have many, many people that actually don’t have a say over these important federal policies that influence their lives every day. So I think the most important thing to getting it done – because as you know President Obama would’ve gotten it done – but I think the most important thing in getting it done, as you’ve already done it for us by taking back the House of Representatives. Right? So guess what else we have to do? Take back the United States Senate that’s exactly right. And so if we have a coalition – and I view this, one of the things that I’ve always seen, I come from the state of Paul Wellstone, right, who saw politics as improving people’s lives, who was a mentor to me, a friend to me, always out there in that green bus advocating for people. And he’d say he went to Washington for the people that didn’t have representation like the kids that couldn’t write the checks in their high chairs. And I think that’s exactly what’s going on right here, so what we need to do is to make it a major priority, and it’s about D.C. It’s also about people who aren’t represented, right, like getting Puerto Rico their money for that horrible damage that they had this storm. It is also about voting rights and look what’s been going on since the Supreme Court stepped in and took back a big chuck of that Voting Rights Act. You see what’s happened in so many of these states. One great example of that: North Carolina where the circuit court said they actually had discriminated with – and this is an exact quote – “surgical precision.” Right? That’s what’s happening in our country to African Americans, that’s what’s happening to Latinos, to so many people that have a right to have a say at the table. Because what they always say in Washington is if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (7/22/17): Klobuchar said she supports D.C. statehood.
Wayne Messam (D)
Miramar, Florida Mayor
Washington Post (4/11/19): “’Taxation without representation is unfair. The people in DC deserves a voice and a vote,’ Messam told The Post.”
Seth Moulton (D)
Massachusetts U.S. Representative
Official Campaign Website: “We need a New Voting Rights Act in America. That means… Statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (7/14/19): Moulton pictured with Iowans for DC Statehood.
New York Times (4/22/19):“Mr. Moulton revealed a broad plan to overhaul the nation’s elections, including… granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.”
CNN (3/26/19): “Moulton revealed the plan — which includes… statehood for Washington, DC and Puerto Rico — to CNN”
Richard Ojeda (D)
Former West Virginia State Senator
Beto O’Rourke (D)
Former Texas U.S. Representative
Twitter @BetoORourke (9/19/19): “DC should be a state with two Senators and full representation in the House. Every voice deserves to be heard and every vote deserves to be counted in our democracy.”
51for51 (9/13/19): O’Rourke supports statehood and the 51 for 51 campaign
NBC 4 Washington (7/31/19): “The communications director for his presidential campaign told News4, ‘Beto has long supported statehood for Washington, D.C. and wants to pursue the surest, quickest path to get there so we can ensure the residents of D.C. have proper representation in their democracy through U.S. senators and a full voting member of the U.S. House.’”
Instagram @betoorourke (6/5/19): “Washington, D.C. should be a state. There are more people living in Washington, D.C. than in I think three other states. Washington, D.C. should have two U.S. Senators – should have Representatives in the House who can vote, can move legislation, can ensure that their constituents’ voice is heard, and that their will is acted upon.”
Alexandria Town Hall (4/17/19): “For our friends who made the trip from our Nation’s Capital, future State of Washington, D.C., we are grateful that you made the trip.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/9/19): O’Rourke wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Washington Post (4/1/19): “O’Rourke supports D.C. statehood, he told The Post.”
Deval Patrick (D)
Former Massachusetts Governor
Washington Post: Patrick’s campaign confirmed he supports D.C. statehood.
Tim Ryan (D)
Ohio U.S. Representative
Twitter @RepTimRyan (9/19/19): “700,000 American citizens and DC residents have no vote in Congress. They pay the most in federal taxes per capita and their residents serve in every military branch. It’s time for #DCstatehood.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (7/14/19): Ryan pictured with Iowans for DC Statehood.
51for51 (6/9/19): “Sure, yeah. Why not? We’ll get the Senate back and we’ll add about ten states and then we’ll be alright.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/7/19): Ryan wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Bernie Sanders (D)
Vermont U.S. Senator
Twitter @BernieSanders (6/17/19): “Mitch McConnell thinks that allowing the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to become states is “socialism.” Well, that’s another reason why I’m a proud Democratic Socialist.”
Twitter @BernieSanders (2/25/19): “I strongly support statehood for Washington DC. #SandersTownHall”
CNN (2/25/19): “And you pay taxes. And your young people serve in the military. Well I think it would be – I come from one of the smallest states in America, only about 620,000 people in the beautiful state of Vermont. It would be – I would be a little hypocritical to suggest that Washington, D.C. shouldn’t become a state and I strongly support statehood for D.C. This is a political issue – it’s political. It’s hard to argue with the facts that the gentleman raised. People pay taxes, they live here, the size of this community is larger than some states. Why don’t they have senators and a member in the House? The answer is, not shockingly, is the Republicans kind of guess that this will be two Democratic senators given the fact that this city consistently votes overwhelmingly Democratic. That’s the opposition right there. I hope – I hope that my Republican colleagues do the right thing. People here are entitled to representation in Washington.”
Twitter @BernieSanders (6/13/16): “It is morally wrong that Washington, D.C.’s residents lack voting representation in Congress.”
CNN (6/11/16): “I think it is morally wrong for American citizens who pay federal taxes, fight in our wars and live in our country to be denied the basic right to full congressional representation. I hope that the next time I’m back we’re going to be talking about the state of Washington, D.C.”
Facebook @berniesanders (6/10/16): “I am strongly in favor of D.C. Statehood. The state of Vermont, which I represent, has about the same number of residents that Washington, D.C. has except we have two United States Senators and one Congressman with full rights while D.C. does not. That doesn’t make any sense.”
Instagram @berniesanders (6/9/16): “I hope that very soon we’ll be talking about the state of Washington, D.C.”
C-SPAN (06/06/16): “The major point I will be making to the citizens of the District of Columbia is that I am strongly in favor of D.C. statehood. The state of Vermont, which I represent, has about the same number of residents that Washington, D.C. has, except we have two United States senators and one congressman with full rights while D.C. does not. That does not make any sense.”
C-SPAN (11/20/93): “The only problem I have with this whole discourse is I think the gentlelady made a mistake in not yielding 98% of her time to the opposition. Because I think they need all of that time and a lot more time to make anything that sounds like a rational case against the right of Washington, D.C. to become a state. Mr. Speaker, I am enormously proud to represent the very great state of Vermont. A state which has a magnificent history, a state which in my view is one of the most beautiful states in this country and a state which today is making a major contribution to the well-being of this country in so many respects. And we are doing all of that and much more with a population of less than 600,000, a population smaller than that of Washington, D.C. Mr. Speaker, how could I in good conscience say that it is appropriate for Vermont to have two seats in the Senate, which we do, to have a congressman who can vote on all of the issues, which we do, to have a governor and a state legislature which deals with all of the problems facing our people, which we do, and then say that the people of the District of Columbia, with a population larger than Vermont’s and larger than some other states should not be able to enjoy the same rights? I could not make that case. It would not be a fair case. It would not be a rational argument. Mr. Speaker this debate is about one thing and one thing alone. That is whether the people of Washington, D.C. are entitled to be full citizens of this country or whether they are not entitled to be full citizens. To me the answer is obvious and I intend to vote yes for statehood for the District of Columbia.”
Mark Sanford (R)
Former South Carolina Governor & U.S. Representative
Joe Sestak (D)
Former Pennsylvania U.S. Representative
Shadow Politics (8/11/19): Sestak was interviewed about D.C. statehood by U.S. Senator (Shadow) Michael Brown and Maria Sanchez.
NBC 4 Washington (7/31/19): “The communications director for the campaign says Admiral Sestak also spoke on the issue at another event a few days later. ‘It was most brought home to the Admiral when he heard of a woman from DC who stood before her son’s casket who was killed in our recent wars, and she realized that there was no blue star that represented him on the flag that covered him,’ said Sestak’s campaign. ‘He spoke about this at the second event mentioned above, and asked: ‘How can a solider die for his country in which he is not permitted to vote and be represented?’’”
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/29/19): Sestak supports D.C. statehood.
Tom Steyer (D)
Washington Informer (2/26/20): “‘Tom is in full, unequivocal support of statehood for the District of Columbia,’ said Johnnie Cordero, a Steyer surrogate and chair of the Democratic Black Caucus of South Carolina. Tiffany Vaughn-Jones, Steyer’s communication director, said he signed the D.C. Statehood Pledge last year, affirming his support for the nation’s capital becoming America’s 51st state.”
51for51 (2/10/20): “Absolutely. One hundred percent.”
Twitter @TomSteyer (9/19/19): “The United States is the only democracy that denies representation to citizens of its capital. Join @MayorBowser in urging Congress to make DC the 51st state. Watch today’s historic hearing live at 10AM Eastern: http://bit.ly/isupportdc #DCStatehood”
NBC 4 Washington (7/31/19): “The deputy communications manager for the Steyer campaign said simply, ‘Tom supports statehood for the District of Columbia.’”
Eric Swalwell (D)
California U.S. Representative
Joe Walsh (R)
Former Illinois U.S. Representative
Elizabeth Warren (D)
Massachusetts U.S. Senator
Official Campaign Website: “Sign Our Petition: Support D.C. Statehood: It isn’t fair for more than 700,000 Americans to be without a vote in Congress. That’s why Elizabeth will keep fighting to make D.C. a state. Add your name if you agree: It’s time to make D.C. our 51st state.”
@jarharnett (1/5/20): “Let me just start by saying: statehood for D.C. I’m all in. Puerto Rico and the other islands – they need to take their own vote and it needs to be up to Puerto Rico. If Puerto Rico decides they want to do statehood, I’m all in. If they decide that it’s not what they want to do – and there are some in Puerto Rico who don’t want to do that – that should be up to the people of Puerto Rico. I believe in self-determination on this one… We need to say in our constitution: every American citizen has the right to vote and get that vote counted and that means a senator for you.”
Iowans for D.C. Statehood (11/25/19): Warren agreed that she should have brought up D.C. statehood during a voting rights speech in Iowa.
Iowans for D.C. Statehood (10/21/19): Warren said she will make D.C. statehood a priority when campaigning.
Twitter @ewarren (10/1/19): “Washington, D.C. has over 700,000 residents—more than Wyoming or Vermont. They pay federal taxes. They deserve an equal voice in our government, and I’ll fight until they get statehood.”
Twitter @ewarren (9/19/19): “Today’s historic hearing in the House of Representatives is an important step towards #DCStatehood. Washington D.C. residents deserve an equal voice in our government—they deserve statehood now.”
DC Vote (7/13/19): “I’m with ya!”
51for51 (6/9/19): “I have [supported D.C. statehood]… for a long time.”
Washington Post (4/1/19): “We should admit DC as the 51st state, Warren told The Post.”
Twitter @ewarren (3/11/19): “DC residents don’t have an equal voice in our government—despite paying federal taxes. It’s not right, and I’m fighting to change that.”
The New Yorker (3/10/19): “It matters… Here’s an example. In 2017, when Republicans tried to rip away health care from millions of Americans, including tens of thousands of people in D.C., Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton didn’t have a vote. This is not right. The right to vote is at the heart of our democracy… A Republican-led Congress has actually overturned laws that the people of the District of Columbia have determined through the democratic process that they want… It’s not simply that American citizens aren’t getting representation. They’re actually being rolled over by a Republican-led Congress that wants to make their own decisions about how the people of D.C. should live… The argument is that, if American citizens get to vote, then the Senate might be more progressive… Yes! That’s right. The Senate might be more responsive to American citizens. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.”
Twitter @ewarren (1/28/19): “700,000 people is more than the populations of Wyoming or Vermont. But DC residents don’t have an equal voice in our government – despite paying federal taxes. Sign our petition if you agree we need to make DC the 51st state.”
Warren campaign email (1/11/19): “Now that Democrats are back in charge, the House is getting ready to vote to make D.C. a state. And Elizabeth Warren will keep fighting to make sure it becomes law. D.C. residents pay federal taxes, serve in the military, and live under the laws set by Congress. Elizabeth supports D.C. statehood. You deserve full rights and representation in the House and Senate. Now we need to keep fighting to pass D.C. statehood and make sure people keep paying attention. Sign our petition to show your support: Give D.C. two senators and a House member and make it the 51st state. Everyone in American should have an equal voice in our government. But the nearly 700,000 people in who live in D.C. – greater than the populations of Wyoming or Vermont – cant fully participate in debates in Congress that shape your future. In 2017, when Republicans’ health care repeal bills would have ripped away health care from tens of thousands of people in D.C., residents could call Rep. Elanor Homes Norton – but she didn’t have a floor vote. And without statehood, Congress has had the power to block the laws D.C. passes for itself, allowing them to stop the implementation of legislation recognizing domestic partnerships, providing abortion services, and legalizing medical marijuana in the District. D.C. statehood gets at the heart of our democracy. It’s one of the principles we founded our country on: No taxation without representation. Elizabeth knows that our democracy is at its strongest when everyone can make their voice heard. Add your name if you agree: It’s time to pass D.C. statehood.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (6/7/17): Warren said she supports D.C. statehood
William Weld (R)
Former Massachusetts Governor
Marianne Williamson (D)
Iowans for DC Statehood (8/10/19): Williamson signed a D.C. statehood jersey.
51for51 (8/9/19): Williamson supports statehood and the 51 for 51 campaign.
NBC 4 Washington (7/31/19): “The author and activist’s 2020 campaign said, ‘Williamson supports D.C. statehood: ‘I think when the founders said that D.C. should not have representation, they simply did not foresee a time when population in D.C. would exist as it does now. Absolutely D.C. should have representation.’”
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/29/19): Williamson supports D.C. statehood.
CNN (4/14/19): “In terms of D.C., of course you should have representation. I think when the founders said that D.C. should not have representation they simply did not foresee a time when the kind of population in D.C. would exist as it does now. Absolutely D.C. should have representation.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/9/19): Williamson wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Shadow Politics (4/7/19): “That’s why we fought an American Revolution – the idea of ‘no taxation without representation.’ Every person who lives in America and is a citizen of the United States should have a vote. Period. End of story. I think that when the Founders first drew all these plans, they did not foresee that there would be all these citizens living in the District of Columbia so I think those days are over, it’s a new time, and it’s a very vibrant and important place and every citizen there should have proper representation in Congress.”
Washington Post (4/1/19): “Williamson supports statehood for Washington, D.C., she told The Post.”
Andrew Yang (D)
Twitter @AndrewYang (10/21/19): “Was asked today about statehood for DC and said it is overdue.”
U.S. Senator (Shadow) Paul Strauss (8/1/19): Yang confirmed his support for D.C. statehood.
51for51 (6/9/19): “I totally do [support statehood]. I am committed to doing everything possible to make sure that we can clear the path to statehood… We have to do everything possible to make sure you guys get the 51st state.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/27/19): Yang wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Twitter @AndrewYang (4/15/19): “New Policy # 19 – Statehood for Washington D.C. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who live in the shadow of our nation’s capital pay taxes every year without any federal representation. It’s overdue – we should make D.C. a state.”
CNN (4/14/19): “You can tell that’s going to be a popular question here in D.C. But I’m 100% for D.C. statehood. You should’ve been a state a long time ago.”
Twitter @AndrewYang (12/23/18): “Agree with this. Would support statehood for DC.”