DAVE ROSS

What’s the likelihood of another Washington (DC) state?

Apr 27, 2021, 12:23 PM
D.C. statehood...
An empty Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and U.S. Capitol building on Jan.15, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

With more talk about granting statehood to Washington, D.C., Washington Post reporter (and D.C. resident) David Fahrenthold weighs in on the likelihood of a 51st state.

US House changes from Census may have implications for future elections

“The momentum behind it, I think, is kind of at the high water mark that it’s ever been, which is not nearly high enough to get it passed,” Fahrenthold explained. “It’s just passed the House of Representatives. I don’t think it has the support to overcome the filibuster in the Senate. In fact, I know it doesn’t because I think everybody recognizes it would add two more Democratic senators and one more Democratic representative. The Republicans who make up almost half of the Senate would not — or half of the Senate — would not want that.”

“So you hear some arguments about, well, D.C. shouldn’t be a state because it doesn’t have any farms, or D.C. shouldn’t be a state because it doesn’t have any factories. But really, nobody wants to add two — or Republicans don’t want to add two Democratic senators,” he added.

Fahrenthold does think it might be more likely for D.C. to become a state if the United States had 49 states and not 50.

“You laugh, but I honestly think that if we had 49 states now and adding D.C. would get us to 50 that this would seem like a much more plausible idea,” he said. “But the fact that is we’re at 50 now, such a good even number, and D.C. would make it 51. And the flag would look a little odd. I’m sure you could do it, but I think that’s part of what makes this sound unnatural is where it’s such a good round number now, people don’t want to mess with it.”

In addition to the political play of statehood, Fahrenthold recognizes there are some good arguments for the idea.

“There are a lot of great arguments for D.C. statehood. We have more residents in D.C. than Vermont or Wyoming, we’re bigger than some states,” he said. “We have no representation in the Senate and our only representative in Congress can’t vote. So this huge amount of people is not really represented at all in the legislative branch.”

“That said, the arguments that are going to matter to people in Congress are arguments about boosting one political party or the other,” he continued. “Now that, there’s a long tradition of that in American history, that’s why we have two Dakotas instead of one, because people wanted to add two more, wanted four Republican senators instead of two way back when. But given that calculation, it’s going to take a strong Democratic majority in the Senate to make this a likely outcome.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM, and on your smart speaker as well. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Omicron...
KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: How scared of the omicron variant should we actually be?

The omicron variant is stranding travelers and rattling markets. It just sounds scary, but what if we're getting ahead of ourselves?
9 hours ago
Wuhan, COVID, market...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine’s head of Virology: Live market ‘more likely the start’ of COVID

Scientists have been trying to trace the actual origins of the virus that causes COVID, to find if it came from a market, a lab, or somewhere else.
1 day ago
sleep...
MyNorthwest Staff

Study determines the ideal time to sleep based on biological clock

Is there a specific time when you should be going to sleep? Mercer Island MD Dr. Gordon Gohen explains the results of a study from the United Kingdom.
2 days ago
downtown seattle...
Dave Ross

Ross: Seattle’s next mayor promises a drier downtown experience

Yes, people want to be safe downtown, but they would also like to be able to go from store to store in November and December without getting soaked.
5 days ago
holidays...
MyNorthwest Staff

Check your dishwasher, fridge, and bathroom before hosting for the holidays

We're used to holiday tips, but this is the first time Dave Ross says he's read about the home maintenance you should be doing for the holidays.
6 days ago
Ahmaud Arbery trial, God...
Dave Ross

Ross: Maybe God wanted us to see this

Based on the teaching that God is Love, maybe He wanted us to see how good people could end up killing an innocent man.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
What’s the likelihood of another Washington (DC) state?