WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. today led a coalition of 24 attorneys general in pushing back against the misguided arguments from a group of Republican attorneys general who yesterday sent congressional leaders a letter with inaccurate legal arguments about making the District a state.
The coalition’s letter also calls on Congress to pass H.R. 51 and S. 51, legislation that would make the District of Columbia a state, following the House committee markup of the bill.
“Today, it’s encouraging that legislation to make the District a state took an important step forward. The right to participate in our democracy shouldn’t be partisan – yet in these partisan times, it sadly has become just that,” said AG Racine. “Our country is strengthened when every citizen has a voice. And giving everyone a voice, including those in the District of Columbia, does not diminish the voices of others. Can residents of other states imagine if their state laws were subject to the whims of Congress, if they were not able to fully participate in the democratic process, if they paid taxes without getting federal representation, or if they lacked a local prosecutor that is accountable to residents? For us in the District, this is a daily reality.
“We in the District are part of a thriving and diverse community. With a population of more than 700,000 residents, the District is comprised of nearly 140,000 children and more than 4,000 teachers. We have more than 68,000 small businesses that employ about 234,000 people. And nearly 30 percent of businesses in the District are Black-owned. For us, freedom is not a mantra that we use to rally supporters. Instead, the lack of true freedom is something we grapple with every day – but that can change. Once again, our future sits in the hands of those in Congress. I strongly encourage them to pass H.R. 51 and S. 51.”
A copy of the coalition’s letter to Congress is available here.
AG Racine was joined by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.