Report: Washington mayor calls for city to vote on statehood

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DC defies feds in move toward statehood

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday called for a citywide vote in November to make the nation's capital the 51st U.S. state, the Washington Post reported.

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Bowser, speaking at an event that included residents and some Democratic members of Congress, called for a ballot measure that, if passed, would also give Washington a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, the Post said.

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Report: Washington mayor calls for city to vote on statehood

USA, Columbia, Washington DC, Capitol Building

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A dark brown Sheriff's helicopter is pictured hovering in the foreground of the photo during President Barack Obama's Inauguration. The Washington Monument and Capital Building are visible in the background along with the massive crowd on the Mall.

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US Capitol building at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue

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Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the countrys East Coast. The National Mall is a national park in downtown Washington, D.C. The National Park Service (NPS) administers the National Mall, which is part of its National Mall and Memorial Parks unit. The term National Mall commonly includes areas that are officially part of West Potomac Park and Constitution Gardens to the west, and often is taken to refer to the entire area between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol, with the Washington Monument providing a division slightly west of the center.

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Pennsylvania Avenue at dusk

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Early sunrise over a serene tidal basin with cherry trees in foreground and Washington Monument in background. Taken during fall colors on the cherry trees.

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10th and Massachusetts Avenue, with moving traffic, at dusk.

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Bright red and orange sunrise at dawn reflects Washington Monument in new reflecting pool by Lincoln Memorial

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Abraham Lincoln Memorial

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Washington DC, USA

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A push for statehood would follow a process modeled on the admission of Tennessee as the 16th state, the Post said, citing aides to Bowser. Tennessee, a federal territory like the nation's capital, was admitted under a plan that required the territory's residents to approve a state constitution and form a republic-style government, the Post said, adding that admission had otherwise involved ratification by existing states.

Bowser's announcement could heighten tension between the city's Democratic majority and Republican-controlled Congress, according to the Post.

The District is challenging Congress over its authority to approve city spending, with Bowser and the city council planning for a $13 billion spending plan without a congressional appropriation for the first time since the nation's founding, the Post reported.

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