Rep. Norton hopeful about DC statehood

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton discusses the D.C. Admissions Act as the bill moves to the Senate.
5:11 | 05/04/21

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Transcript for Rep. Norton hopeful about DC statehood
D.C. Congresswoman Holmes, why is this time the time? You have that uphill battle. You still need 60 votes in the senate. What makes you hopeful that that is going to happen? What makes me hopeful is the latest poll. It was a very detailed poll and it shows that 54% of the American people support statehood for their nation's capital. As a result of the hearings and the markup they learned what they did not know. That the residents of their own nation's capital didn't have the same rights they have, and they said what? So now we're seeing people come forward. And we are very hopeful. Now that the bill is passed the house, that it will also pass the senate. Congresswoman, I'm sure you don't remember me, but I remember talking to you 20 years ago. I worked for WTTG and we were talking about this very issue. I know my license plate said taxation without representation. So this has been a long time coming. But there are Republicans in the senate who believe this is a power grab to add more seats to the democratic side of things. What do you say to them? What I say to them is that I think the tomb is bursting open. We saw the senate late organizing. And the reason had to do with the filibuster. The reason Democrats got hold of the senate this time was because of the filibuster and the Republicans were passing nothing. Bills passed in the house went to the senate to die. So what people gave the senate to the Democrats. And the Democrats are determined T get rid of the filibuster. Actually, we've gotten rid of the filibuster for everything except legislation. You can't do it for nominations, for example. With the filibuster on its way out, not for statehood but for everything, we're opening the gate, finally, for statehood for the district of Columbia. Congresswoman, we talk about statehood, but the idea, a big part of it is to get the folks in D.C. Representation. So what about the idea some have floated of just letting D.C. Be absorbed into Maryland, become a part of that state? And then the folks in D.C. Have representation in congress. Now what's wrong with that idea? What's wrong with that idea is this is a democracy and nobody's asked Maryland about that. Maryland gave -- Maryland gave the land irretrievably for nation's capital. They can't go back to where you -- irretrievably and where they don't want you back. Look, there is only one option left. That is the statehood option with the majority of the people of the United States now supporting that option we're on our way to the only option that matters, and that means anything. Because we are the only nation's capital in the world that does not give the people who live in their nation's capital the same rights as everybody else in the country. Speaking of meaning, congresswoman, you not only want to make Washington, D.C. A state. You want to change the name to Washington Douglas commonwealth. Tell us why and why that is so important to you. We were determined to keep Washington, D.C., because that is the way we've been known for 220 years. But Douglass commonwealth seems an appropriate way to go because Frederick Douglass who lived in the district of Columbia, his home is a major site here for visitors, was perhaps the first American to be for equal rights for the nation's capital. So it seemed entirely appropriate to name the nations capital after Frederick Douglass. Congresswoman, you have been at this for a while, clearly. So we'll see what happens this time around. And on a more trivial matter, where do we put the 51st star? Where do we put that on the flag? Actually we've got some flags with the 51st star. And I'm sorry to say that you won't be able to tell the difference between that and the old flag. Congresswoman. We'll know the difference though. We'll know the difference. Well, this has been a passion of yours, something you have been after some time. Lot of support out there. But really good to have you with us. Hope to see you down the road, all right? Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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