Wyoming's population is 581,075, just over 5,000 of whom are African-Americans. It is one of 10 states where over 90% of the population is white. The state's 3 cities are Cheyenne (pop- 63,335), Casper (pop- 60,285) and Laramie (pop- 32,158). The state has a congressman and two senators, all of whom are extremely right wing. The District of Columbia has no senators and a non-voting member of Congress. The population 714,153, 46.31% of whom are African-American. That many African-Americans frightens conservatives, who are refusing to allow DC to become a state. The statehood bill was vetoed by West Virginia DINO Joe Manchin this week, even after Biden nominated-- and the Senate confirmed unanimously-- Manchin's wife Gayle to be co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission on Thursday. In announcing the confirmation, Forbes noted that "Manchin stands between Democrats and many of their key legislative priorities with his refusal to reform, let alone eliminate, the filibuster-- and he has expressed opposition to House-passed bills closing gun background check loopholes and overhauling elections. He has signaled no signs of letting up on the filibuster, though he will still be pivotal for Democrats to pass infrastructure spending if they choose to use budget reconciliation."
Yesterday, the Washington Post's Meagan Flynn reported Manchin's decision. The statehood bill passed the House on Thursday, 216-208, every Democrat voting yes and every Republican-- including fake moderates like Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Fred Upton (R-MI), Rodney Davis (R-IL), John Katko (R-NY), Don Bacon (R-NE), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Tom Reed (R-NY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Peter Meijer (R-MI)-- voting with the insurrectionists, secessionists and other racists. At that time, Flynn reported that "During debate Thursday morning, Republicans and Democrats traded accusations of partisanship, given the unavoidable reality that most District residents would be likely to vote for Democrats."
“So what?” said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA). “How somebody votes cannot be a test of whether they have the right to vote in a democracy.”
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said D.C. statehood was “not really about voting representation” but was in fact “about Democrats consolidating their power in Washington.”
He and many others maintained that D.C. statehood would be unconstitutional, because the creation of a federal district and Congress’s authority over it is enshrined in the Constitution. (Democrats counter that argument by pointing out that H.R. 51 maintains Congress’s power over the shrunken federal district.)
“They don’t see taxation without representation,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said of his GOP colleagues. “They don’t see military service without representation, when tens of thousands of people have served the nation in every war going back to the Revolutionary War. All that they see is two new liberal Democrat senators.”
At one point, Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) accused Republicans of racism in their opposition to statehood, recalling comments by GOP lawmakers that D.C. was not well-rounded or working-class enough to be a state, and lacked a landfill. On Thursday, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) said the city does not have manufacturing, agriculture or natural resources.
“I have had enough of my colleagues’ racist insinuations that somehow the people of Washington, D.C., are incapable or even unworthy of our democracy,” Jones said. “One of my House Republican colleagues said that D.C. couldn’t be a state because the district doesn’t have a landfill. My goodness, with all the racist trash my colleagues have brought to the debate, I can see whey they’re worried about having a place to put it.”
Republicans erupted, asking that Jones’s words be taken down. Jones agreed to withdraw them.
Advocates and city leaders have largely focused on D.C. statehood as a racial justice and civil rights issue-- “probably the most urgent voting rights issue of our time,” as 51 for 51 Director Stasha Rhodes put it.
Many proponents have drawn direct parallels between state Republicans’ efforts to enact more stringent laws restricting voting and federal Republicans’ opposition to statehood. Both result in fewer people having access to the franchise — in D.C., more than 712,000, according to Census Bureau estimates, 46 percent of whom are Black.
Advocates often point out that the District-- once nicknamed “Chocolate City” for its thriving Black culture and majority population-- would have the largest proportion of African Americans of any state.
...Republican senators from less populous states have worried that D.C. statehood would “dilute” their states’ power, as Sen. Steve Daines (MT) put it this week.
Now that Manchin has killed the bill, no one will ever know how the 3 other Democrats who haven't backed it-- Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Mark Kelly (AZ) and Angus King (I-ME) would have voted. Manchin claims DC would need a constitutional amendment to become a state-- a lie conservatives always spew, even though 37 white-majority states were all admitted without constitutional amendments. The Constitution was very clear that all that was needed to admit a state would be simple majorities in the House and Senate and the president's signature. Manchin, who has proven himself no student of history, told a West Virginia talk show host that "If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment. It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote."
Ironically, many people say that West Virginia's admission to the Union as a state was completely unconstitutional and should be revoked, which would solve a lot of problems for the rest of the country. Flynn wrote that "Asked whether Manchin supports D.C. statehood in principle, a spokesman said he did not have anything more to add."
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s nonvoting delegate and sponsor of the House statehood bill, pushed back on Manchin’s concerns over the 23rd Amendment in an interview.
She noted that her bill calls for an expedited resolution seeking repeal of the 23rd Amendment while also immediately repealing the amendment’s enabling clause.
“There are multiple ways to deal with the 23rd Amendment,” Norton said. “We recognize it as an obstacle but nothing like an absolute obstacle.”
She added that Manchin’s position did not surprise her and that “I was never counting on him” to push the bill across the finish line.
“I am counting, however, on getting more Democrats elected so that he does not have the kind of power he now has, by the way, not only over D.C. statehood but over much of the president’s agenda,” Norton said.