Press Releases

Congressman Don Young Issues Statement Following Vote on Washington, D.C. Statehood

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Washington, June 26, 2020 | comments

Washington, D.C. – Today, following his “no” vote on H.R. 51 – the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, Alaska Congressman Don Young issued the following statement:

"Our founders never intended for Washington, D.C. to become a state. Our Nation's Capital was meant to be an independent federal district, and for that reason, our Capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. in the eighteenth century. The bill passed out of the House today is very flawed. First and foremost, the bill violates the Constitution's enclave clause, which requires Congress to retain control of the federal seat of power. Secondly, and most crucially, the bill shrinks the federal district without immediately repealing the 23rd Amendment. Without its repeal, the smaller federal district still retains its three electoral votes, effectively giving the remaining residents – the First Family – three Electoral Votes for president. My Democrat colleagues have dedicated a lot of time to antagonizing President Trump; it is ironic then that their flawed statehood bill would give him de-facto control of electoral votes that could swing a presidential election.

The framers intended for territories to be eligible for statehood, and I have long advocated for Puerto Rican statehood. I authored the only Puerto Rico statehood bill ever to pass the House, and I am very proud of that. Puerto Rico has been treated very unfairly due to its current status, which is a contributing factor to its ongoing debt crisis. D.C. is doing well financially, which is precisely why the need for Puerto Rican statehood is far more urgent. Statehood for Puerto Rico would give it the tools, resources, and power necessary to get its fiscal house in order so that taxpayers are not on the hook to bail out the island. The people of Puerto Rico have voted twice in the past eight years to become a state, and I continue working closely with Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón and other advocates to help make their admission to the Union a reality. The House should be bringing her statehood legislation to the Floor instead of wasting time and resources on this partisan D.C. bill."

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