Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) released a statement ahead of the House consideration of statehood for the District of Columbia.
Washington, DC – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) released the following statement ahead of the House consideration of statehood for the District of Columbia:
“To address the District of Columbia’s lack of representation in Congress, we have to look at both the original intent as well as the practicality of the current system. The Founding Fathers intended that the Federal District would not lie inside the boundaries of one State, for fear of that State gaining favoritism from Congress or, alternatively, that the legislature of that State could use its powers to encumber or coerce Members of Congress. But the Founders also intended for Congress as a whole to represent the District, and while that may sound nice and reasonable, the residents of DC do not get to directly cast a vote for full representation in Congress—and I agree this should be remedied.
“Instead of jumping to full-fledged statehood—which would conveniently add two brand new Democrats to the U.S. Senate—we should address the underlying issue, which is representation. I do not support statehood, but I do support an effort by Congress to increase representation for the people living in the District of Columbia.
“Currently, the DC Delegate to Congress has very little legislative power. She may offer bills and amendments in the House of Representatives, but she cannot vote on the floor, and her votes at Committee proceedings are diluted. And, as it stands, the District of Columbia has no representation in the Senate.
“One potential solution is to give the Delegate full voting rights on the House floor and in Committee; and then allow DC residents to vote for Maryland senatorial candidates in its primary and general elections. A compromise like this deserves a full and fair debate, and I encourage our Congressional leaders to take careful consideration. Anyone who has driven through DC has seen the unofficial motto, ‘Taxation Without Representation,’ on license plates throughout the city. The American Colonies fought a revolution over this very principle, so it seems hypocritical to deny the citizens of DC appropriate representation in Congress.
“Again, I believe we need to have a remedy to the representation in the District of Columbia. This process should not be rushed or pushed through Congress prematurely; doing so would flatly disregard hundreds of years of precedent. Instead, let’s respect the institutions of our democracy and have real conversations about fair congressional representation for the District of Columbia.”