Without the right to vote: what’s wrong with the status of the capital of the United States, and whether it will become the 51st state

The U.S. capital is preparing for a defining event in its history. After 30 years of debate this Friday, June 26, Congress will vote on whether to give Washington, D.C. a full-fledged 51st state of the United States, says the “Voice of America”.

Без права голоса: что не так со статусом столицы США, и станет ли она 51-м штатом

Photo: Shutterstock

License plates on cars in America — an additional opportunity for States to boast of their merits. Virginia — “state for lovers”, West Virginia “wild and wonderful” new Jersey- “state garden”. But in Washington, D.C. license plates is not a glorification, but rather a protest. Taxation without representation — “taxation without representation” reports of a harsh reality. Be a resident of Washington, then to pay taxes, but do not have a representative and voice in Congress.

Без права голоса: что не так со статусом столицы США, и станет ли она 51-м штатом

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

Each state in Congress representing two senators and from 1 to 53 members of Congress in accordance with population. From the district of Columbia — one trendsetter without voting rights. And this at a time when the capital’s residents pay the highest per capita Federal taxes in the country. Until 1961 Washingtonians could not vote for President. All local laws must still pass the approval of Congress.

“You’re like any other American,” says George Burch, the founder of one of the groups of local activists lobbying to capital is a state.

Без права голоса: что не так со статусом столицы США, и станет ли она 51-м штатом

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

“When our daughter was 4 years old, we talked about the American flag, he says. — I was told that there 13 stripes symbolize the 13 colonies, and 50 stars, 50 States. She asked if there was a star where we are from. I said, “No, because we are not a state”. We are not only deprived of a place on the flag, but in the main legislative body. It’s a big gap in American democracy: 700 deny thousands of people the right to be represented.”

Без права голоса: что не так со статусом столицы США, и станет ли она 51-м штатом

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

Opponents of the idea of the state refer to the Constitution, which established Federal control over the district in which is concentrated the power. What motivated the founding fathers, says historian Jonathan Earle.

“Washington, D.C., is a compromise. One of the many political compromises between Northern and southern States — says the expert. The compromise was that the seat of government, were not controlled nor North, nor South.”

Без права голоса: что не так со статусом столицы США, и станет ли она 51-м штатом

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

In the end, Washington has created a patchwork of Virginia and Maryland. The bill, which the House of representatives will vote this Friday, June 26, the size of the actual government of the district of Columbia propose to reduce.

“So that institutions our founding fathers — national Mall, White house, Congress, the Central core remained the Federal district, — says Burch. — And the rest of the territory, where all people live, where the businesses become the 51st state. And then on the rights of the state they would get two senators and a Congressman with a voting right”.

Без права голоса: что не так со статусом столицы США, и станет ли она 51-м штатом

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

The last time the question of statehood for the district of Columbia considered in Congress almost 30 years ago. Now this has led protests and the decision of the President of trump to use Federal troops of the National guard to disperse the demonstrators at the White house.

“The events of the past few days have shown that our struggle for statehood is something more than to have two senators,” says Muriel Bauer, the mayor of Washington.

Now the main question — how far will the bill.

“We are cautiously optimistic and believe that the bill approved in the House of representatives, says Burch. But the bill will die as soon as they move in the Senate.”

The Republican majority leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell said earlier: while he’s in office, this bill will not pass. Because then, he says, the Democrats get two more senators.

Без права голоса: что не так со статусом столицы США, и станет ли она 51-м штатом

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

The population is predominantly black and democratic. In the presidential election of 2016, only 4% of Washingtonians voted for Donald trump.

History shows, says Jonathan Earl that without benefits for both political camps, the creation of a new state is unlikely. This is why America has almost always been joined by two.

“The reason why before the Civil war, the States joined the Union in pairs, that neither the North, is increasingly becoming in opposition to slavery, neither the South, which believed in slavery, didn’t want to add another two senators from any of the States, have not yet received something in return, says Earl. These days, the question is not the support or opposition to slavery. And in fact, more Republican or democratic this state.”

Без права голоса: что не так со статусом столицы США, и станет ли она 51-м штатом

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

Activists hope that with the adoption of the bill by the House of representatives the question of the status of the state of Washington will move from the dead point. And over time, with the new composition of Congress, 700 thousand inhabitants of the district of Columbia will get there and its representative with voting rights.

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