Officials are admitting their plans to make Washington, D.C., the 51st state in the U.S. are likely to fail in the wake of sweeping republican victories.
Voters approved a ballot to make D.C. the 51st state by an overwhelming margin Tuesday, but it will not become a reality under a Republican Congress. Approving statehood would hand the District two additional senate seats that would likely be occupied by Democrats. Mayor Muriel Bowser is still promising to push for statehood with President-elect Donald Trump given the massive support District voters gave the ballot, but admits the prospects are dim, reports The Washington Post.
Trump did not dedicate much campaign time to discussing the issue but previously remarked he thought it was probably not a good idea.
“That’s number one on our agenda for the next president; there’s no way we’re going to forget we just had this vote,” Bowser told The Washington Post. “Obviously, part of our strategy was to be ready for when we had like-minded people elected in the White House and in the Congress. We are, you know, ready for that day – when it comes.”
Residents voted in favor of statehood with 71 percent support, a wide margin officials said was crucial to gain national attention. Some city officials are mulling the idea of funding a national public relations blitz to keep attention on the issue, but Bowser says discussion need to be held on how much D.C. is willing to invest in it.
Members of the D.C. Council appear to be more concerned with local laws and if a hostile Congress will create further roadblocks to legal autonomy in the District. Officials are concerned with local gun laws and marijuana policy, which has been left in limbo due to opposition in the House of Representatives.
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