D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Monday called on President Biden to mention D.C. statehood in his first State of the Union address that will take place Tuesday.
“President Biden has been a longtime supporter of D.C. statehood, but he has not yet used his bully pulpit as president to advocate for D.C. statehood,” Norton said in a statement. “With House Republicans threatening to abolish the D.C. government if they are in the majority next Congress, it is more important than ever that the president forcefully pushes for the enactment of the D.C. statehood bill this Congress. The president has given several speeches on protecting the right to vote nationally, and I expect he will discuss voting rights in the State of the Union address, as well. D.C. statehood is part of the fight for voting rights. The president will have the attention of the nation during the State of the Union address. He should use the address to advocate for D.C. Statehood.”
Norton’s statehood bill has been passed in the House twice since 2020 and the Senate companion bill sponsored by Tom Carper (D-Del.) has 45 co-sponsors, the most ever, and a hearing on his bill took place last June. Norton relayed that she has spoken to White House staffers about Biden mentioning D.C. statehood during the address.,
Democratic and Republican presidents, including Truman, Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, and Carter have used the State of the Union address to support congressional voting representation and local self-government for the District.