D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton expressed disappointment that President Biden didn’t talk about D.C. statehood in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
“I am disappointed that President Biden did not mention D.C. statehood in his State of the Union address last night, despite his longtime support for D.C. statehood and his discussion last night of other voting rights bills,” Norton said in a statement. “With House Republicans threatening to abolish the D.C. government if they are the majority in the next Congress, it is more important than ever that the president forcefully pushes for enactment of the D.C. statehood bill this Congress. D.C. statehood is part of the fight for voting rights. The president had the attention of the nation during the State of the Union address, and he should have used it to advocate for statehood for the nearly 700,000 people who live in the nation’s capital.”
President Biden has gone on record supporting the District becoming the 51st state. However, the president hasn’t discussed D.C. statehood publicly himself.
In 2020 and 2021, the House passed a D.C. statehood bill, which was the first and second times in history either chamber of Congress had done that. The Senate companion bill, sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) has a record of 45 co-sponsors.
Democratic and Republican presidents, including Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter have advocated for congressional voting representation and self-government for the District in their State of the Union addresses.