Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser slapped down arguments against making D.C. a state during a Senate hearing Tuesday, while also ruffling Republicans’ feathers by saying D.C. only had ‘one night of rioting’ last summer.
‘One thing I know about D.C. residents is that they have been fighting for this for 220 years,’ Bowser stated before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. ‘We will not quit until we achieve full democracy and our two senators are seated here with you.’
She knocked down claims that D.C. should be retroceded to Maryland, the state that originally gave the land.
‘Maryland has no claim to the land it ceded to the federal government when the District was founded,’ Bowser said. ‘Certainly, no one in this body would suggest that Maine should retrocede to Massachusetts or that West Virginia should return to Virginia.’
Bowser also poked fun at some of the more ‘preposterous to inaccurate’ arguments she’s heard.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Washingtonians ‘will not quit’ until the District of Columbia becomes the 51st state. Bowser also said Maryland has no claim to the land that the District now commands
‘Just to cite a couple, in 2019 we were asked what would happen to the parking spaces for Congressional staff if the district were to become a state,’ the mayor said. ‘We were at a loss to see how our full democracy should be equated to just a few parking spaces.’
‘This March I was confronted with concerns that the District could not be a state because it was believed that we didn’t have a car dealership, even though we do,’ she continued.
‘Statements like these not only discount the civil rights of D.C. residents, they also demonstrate a true lack of understanding of the rapidly growing and thriving businesses and culture that surround the small federal presence,’ Bowser added.
Rep. Jody Hice, a Georgia Republican, had said in a House hearing in March, ‘D.C. would be the only state, the only state, without an airport, without a car dealership, without a capital city, without a landfill, without even a name on its own, and we could go on and on and on.’
The Senate hearing came two months after the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted for a second time to make D.C. the 51st state – which would be called Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.
Despite getting a reception from senators, the bill looks permanently stuck in the upper chamber, with Republicans and even Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia against D.C. statehood.
Bowser ruffled feathers when she said D.C. only experienced ‘one night of rioting’ last summer, as she went back-and-forth with GOP Sen. Ron Johnson on the treatment of Capitol rioters versus those engaged in Black Lives Matter protests
Bowser appeared alongside former independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, the former chair of the Homeland Security committee, who also argued on behalf of D.C. statehood.
‘Today’s residents of the District of Columbia, as it has been said, have every right to sound the battle cry of our revolution, “No taxation without representation,”‘ Lieberman said.
The Connecticut ex-senator said that ‘all the arguments seem to be legalistic disputations and ultimately excuses for something that is inexcusable,’ sassing at the Republicans in the room for presuming granting D.C. statehood would lead to the election of two Democratic senators and a Democratic House member.
Lieberman noted that how when Alaska and Hawaii were added to the union, Alaska was believed to be a blue state and Hawaii a red.
Now Alaska traditionally votes Reublican, whle Hawaii votes Democratic.
Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, dismissed Lieberman’s argument calling granting D.C. statehood a ‘naked power grab,’ adding that ‘you can predict quite handedly’ how D.C. residents will vote.
Johnson, a top Senate ally of former President Donald Trump, also sparred with Bowser over the treatment of protesters involved in the Black Lives Matter demonstration last summer versus those involved in the January 6 Capitol attack.
Bowser tried blowing off much of Johnson’s questioning, refusing to answer a query about how much the rioters’ damage cost.
‘I’m glad to hear you say that you are against riotous behavior whether it happened on 16th Street of here,’ Bowser said on Capitol Hill.
‘I know we had one night of rioting in the District in the summer,’ she added.
The ‘one night’ comment got a flurry of pushback on social media, with Twitter users posting photos of the several days of unrest that followed the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.