D.C. Statehood Advocates Push For Bill That Would Put Money Into Fight | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Statehood Advocates Push For Bill That Would Put Money Into Fight

The fight for D.C. statehood may receive a cash infusion courtesy of taxpayers.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanisland/5717539888/
The fight for D.C. statehood may receive a cash infusion courtesy of taxpayers.

What's D.C. statehood worth? That question was at the heart of a D.C. Council hearing today on a bill that would put $1.1 million annually towards the fight to make D.C. the union's 51st state.

Currently, the city's three-person shadow delegation—one representative and two senators charged with fighting for the 51st star—toil in relative anonymity, working with no staff and few resources. But under the provisions of the bill, each member would paid $35,000 a year, and their offices would each receive $150,000 to be split among staffing and programming.

The bill would also set aside $550,000 for the D.C. Council to use annually for lobbying and public relations efforts related to the fight for statehood.

Statehood advocates say that the money would demonstrate the city's commitment to statehood, especially when a bill that would grant D.C. statehood is before both the House of Representatives and Senate.

"There's only one multi-billion dollar organization in D.C. with 600,000 members that's not lobbying Congress, and that's D.C.," said Nate Bennett-Fleming, the city's shadow representative.

Should the bill pass, it would mark a reversal of fortunes for the statehood cause. Until 2008 Congress prohibited D.C. from spending any money on lobbying or advocacy for voting rights or statehood, and since that prohibition was lifted the city has offered only meager grants to organizations fighting for both.

D.C. officials have also shied away from pushing statehood in recent years, opting instead for limited goals of a voting seat in the House and budget autonomy. At a recent event in the U.S. Capitol, though, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his support for a statehood bill introduced earlier this year.

"At some point, you need to invest resources if you want to get the job done," said Paul Strauss, one of the city's two shadow senators.

NPR

Miss Colombia Wins Pageant; Miss Jamaica Wins Twitter?

Days later, bad feelings linger among the Miss Universe pageant viewers who believe that the wrong contestant won. Many watchers on social media say Miss Jamaica should being wearing the crown.
NPR

Watch 'Bob's Burgers'? Now You Can Eat Them, Too

What happens when you try to make a burger out of a pun? One blog, two years, and dozens of recipes later, millions of fans can now cook up their very own Bob's burgers.
WAMU 88.5

Drilling Off Virginia Coast Could Harm Neighboring States, Cardin Says

The Obama administration has decided to open up the Atlantic states to offshore drilling, a move that is not playing well among East Coast democrats like U.S. Sen. Cardin (D-MD).
NPR

Apple Sold 30,000 iPhones An Hour Last Quarter, Scored Record Profits

The tech giant sold 74 million phones in three months.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.