The House will vote next week on a bill to make Washington, D.C., the 51st U.S. state, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Tuesday.
The June 26 vote would be the first time Congress has voted on the issue since 1993 when the effort failed to pass the House.
With 220 co-sponsors, the bill, H.R. 51, has enough support to pass the House. However, the bill, sponsored by the District of Columbia’s non-voting House delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, has no chance of becoming law given opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate.
President Donald Trump has also said he opposes making the district a state because it would give Democrats two more senators. “That’ll never happen,” he told the New York Post in May.
The more than 700,000 residents of the capital district are not represented by voting members in the U.S. House or Senate. License plates in the district carry the slogan “taxation without representation.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said no chamber has yet passed a statehood vote. They would name it State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, in tribute to the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, according to the D.C. Statehood Coalition.
“This will be an historic vote,” she said. “This deprivation of statehood is unjust, unequal, undemocratic and unacceptable.”
Supporters of the measure hope to channel anger over the handling of anti-racism protest by federal law enforcement officers to win support for statehood.
“It took me some time to conclude that the only way that we were going to give citizens of the District of Columbia their rights as U.S. citizens is to grant statehood to the District of Columbia,” Hoyer told reporters.
Hoyer had previously supported an effort to grant D.C. a voting representative in the House without making the district a state