A bill that would make the District of Columbia America's 51st state passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. The legislation would create a new state called "Washington, Douglass Commonwealth" and apportion it the constitutionally required one representative and two senators.
A federal district carved out from all the states would remain, but would only include a small strip of land that incorporates the White House, Capitol building, and the National Mall.
The Washington D.C. Admission Act passed on a 216-208 vote.
While an important step for proponents, the legislation is considered dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate, where all Republicans oppose. West Virginia's Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has also announced he will vote against the bill.
President Biden has supported the move, saying that the current federal status of the full district is "an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded."
A major objection to D.C.'s inclusion is the fact that its creation and limitation is clearly defined in the Constitution. Many scholars argue that means a constitutional amendment would be required to change those parameters before any effort at statehood could even be considered.