An 1880 drawing of the District of Columbia by C.R. Parsons. Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress complete legislative authority over the district.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
On November 21, 1993, the House considered Bill 51, calling for the creation of New Columbia, the nation’s fifty-first state. Democrats spoke in favor of statehood, saying it would give D.C. residents the same benefits of citizenship that are enjoyed by other U.S. citizens. Republicans spoke out against it, saying the city was unable to govern itself. Republican sentiments carried the day, defeating the bill by a vote of 277–153.
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