Report: Washington mayor calls for city to vote on statehood

DC defies feds in move toward statehood
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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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.