House Bill Proposes Giving DC Officials New Titles

June 12, 2020 by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON – House Representatives Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, and Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., introduced a bill on Thursday to give District of Columbia officials new titles matching those of leaders in U.S. states.

The proposed measure, dubbed the District of Columbia Government Title Equality Act, upgrades the official title of D.C.’s mayor to governor, while the council would be refashioned as the Legislative Assembly, and council members would become representatives. The chairman of the D.C. Council would also get a new nickname as speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

The bill, which is largely symbolic, doesn’t grant D.C. any additional rights beyond its current status as a federal District. However, it fits into a longstanding push by Norton, D.C.’s non-voting delegate and a lifelong advocate for D.C. statehood, to secure equal representation in Congress for the District’s more than 700,000 residents.

The stated purpose of the legislation, according to a press release, is to “highlight to the American people and members of Congress that there would be a seamless transition to D.C. statehood because D.C. already operates as the functional equivalent of a state.”

It comes amid growing tensions between District officials and the Trump administration over the president’s deployment of federal police and out-of-state troops into D.C. during recent protests over the killing of George Floyd. 

On June 1, federal troops attacked demonstrators at Lafayette Square with tear gas and rubber bullets to make way for a bizarre photo-op that featured Trump posing with a bible at the historic St. John’s Church. 

Shortly after the incident, D.C. Mayor Bowser retaliated by symbolically renaming the intersection where protesters were attacked “Black Lives Matter Plaza” and by painting the slogan on the ground in huge yellow letters.

“Last week’s stunt by the President is evidence of the federal government’s ability to overstep its authority with little or no warning for D.C. leadership,” said Fudge in a statement. “I am proud to support Rep. Norton in taking the necessary steps toward obtaining statehood and guaranteeing the residents in our nation’s capital receive the freedoms and representation all Americans deserve.”

The push to turn D.C. into the nation’s 51st State has gained momentum in recent years among Democrats in Congress. In 2019, Norton introduced a bill named H.R. 51 to admit the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, into the union “on equal footing with other states.”

The bill currently has 224 co-sponsors — all Democrats — in the House of Representatives, meaning it could easily clear the House floor. Last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he “fully intended” to bring H.R. 51 to a vote before the end of the year, citing President Trump’s recent strong-arming of the District. 

“President Trump’s behavior in the District of Columbia in recent days, as well as his threats to impose his dangerous and callous will on a city about which he has proven again and again he has no understanding of, has underscored in dramatic terms the urgency of giving the District the same constitutional rights and authorities that the nation’s [other] states have had since 1789,” Hoyer said in a statement

In The News



Political News

Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
In The States
Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
April 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's General Assembly on Saturday enacted the nation’s most sweeping police reform legislation to make officers more accountable to the public. The new rules place more restrictions on use of force and no-knock warrants. Other provisions require body cameras and give civilians a... Read More

Congress to Honor 2nd Capitol Police Officer Slain This Year
Law Enforcement
Congress to Honor 2nd Capitol Police Officer Slain This Year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday during the second such memorial ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection.President... Read More

Biden Aims for Bipartisanship But Applies Sly Pressure
White House
Biden Aims for Bipartisanship But Applies Sly Pressure

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has begun publicly courting Republicans to back his sweeping infrastructure plan, but his reach across the aisle is intended just as much to keep Democrats in line as it is a first step in an uphill climb to any bipartisan... Read More

Biden Wants Infrastructure Deal, But GOP Doubts Persist
Biden Wants Infrastructure Deal, But GOP Doubts Persist

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants Congress to know he's sincere about cutting a deal on infrastructure, but Republican lawmakers have deep-seated doubts about the scope of his proposed package, its tax hikes and Biden's premise that this is an inflection point for the U.S.... Read More

U.S. Looks To Support Clean Infrastructure In India, Bangladesh
U.S. Looks To Support Clean Infrastructure In India, Bangladesh
April 12, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Last week and over the weekend, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry met with officials from the governments of India and Bangladesh to talk about strategies for improving climate resilience and adapting to climate change. Kerry emphasized recent U.S. aid projects to the two... Read More

Unintended Consequencs of Sex Trafficking Laws
Unintended Consequencs of Sex Trafficking Laws
April 12, 2021
by Victoria Turner

The two federal laws governing sex trafficking online have disproportionately harmed more sex workers than saved victims of human trafficking, said Danielle Borrelli, operations coordinator at the California Cybersecurity Institute, today at a Lincoln Network event moderated by Alexiaa Jordan.   Known and used collectively as SESTA-FOSTA,... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top