For years now, there’s been talk of making the District of Columbia a state. There are valid reasons why they should be a state, too, since residents don’t get congressional representation in any meaningful way, yet are required to pay taxes just like the rest of us. No taxation without representation and all that jazz.
However, there are also reasons why it shouldn’t happen. For one, it’s really just a city, not something big enough to be a state.
Then there are the political ramifications of D.C. statehood. In particular, you’d end up with one liberal representatives and two liberal senators, thus likely upsetting the balance of power in the Senate.
In the House, however, a measure was recently introduced that would require the D.C. state to hold up certain conservative values.
Rep. Fred Keller, R-Pa., on Friday introduced a last-second motion to include provisions in the House bill to make Washington, D.C., America’s 51st state that would require D.C. — which would technically be a “commonwealth” — to provide protections for conservative priorities like the Second Amendment, public monuments, police funding and more.
The “motion to recommit” introduced by Keller is a procedural move that is meant to provide “one final opportunity for the House to debate and amend a measure, typically after the engrossment and third reading of the bill, before the Speaker orders the vote on final passage,” according to House rules. It was promptly shut down by a voice vote. Keller requested a recorded vote, which was postponed.
“Republicans need assurances that the interests of our constituents will be reflected in this new state that will have undue influence over the nation’s federal government,” Keller said on the House floor, addressing a point that many Republicans made in their opposition to the D.C. statehood bill.
Of course, Keller likely knew that it was never going to happen.
For one, the liberal lean of the House was never going to accept a state being required to uphold something like gun rights. Their sincere hope is that a new liberal state would become enough of a factor to reach a tipping point in gun rights. Such a measure was never going to happen.
And really, the best-case scenario would have been for such a measure to become a poison pill. If it made it into the final bill, it would likely have scuttled the whole measure.
Of course, it wasn’t really needed except as a means of a bit of grandstanding–not always a bad thing, to be clear. It’s highly unlikely the Senate will approve a measure to create a state that may well change the balance of power. It’s just not going to happen, especially in these politically-charged times. A decade or so ago, maybe, but today? It’s just not going to happen.
Especially since we know it’s really about that balance of power. When Democrats had both chambers of Congress and the White House, where was the effort? Nowhere. That’s because no one cared enough to bother with D.C.
Now, though, they can be useful for destroying our gun rights and other such civil liberties, so it’s a moral imperative for them to do it right now.
Keller called attention to that and, in some way, called attention to it.
Good for him.