- Madeline Hancock
If you thought Senator Tom Coburn was angry when he was pushing for another Constitutional Convention, just wait til you hear what he has to say about D.C. becoming the 51st state.
Coburn voiced his opinion during a Sept. 15 congressional hearing on D.C. statehood, the first in 20 years, reported The Huffington Post.
D.C. is home to 646,000 residents who are taxed without representation, and they are pushing to create a new state, New Columbia, that includes business and residential districts but leaves out Capitol Hill and the White House.
We do not wish ... to be second-class stepchildren in the union, or voyeurs in democracy as you vote for how much in taxes we will pay, or how many of our sons will go to war, delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said.
It appeared that Coburn didnt want to waste time voting on a measure that has died several times before. The last vote on D.C. statehood was held in 1993.
Here we are again debating this issue, even though it has no chance of success in this chamber and is dead on arrival in the House. It will not and cannot possibly even be considered before we go sine die (adjourn), Coburn said.
However, upon closer inspection, it appears Coburn most likely has other motives that have nothing to do with wasting time. According to The Huffington Post, D.C. is a super liberal city, which would add three more Democratic representatives to Congress if it were granted statehood.
He cited Amendment 23, which granted D.C. residents three electoral votes, and which he argues would have to be repealed before Congress could even consider the New Columbia Act.
Granting statehood without first repealing the 23rd Amendment creates a legal and political absurdity, allowing a few residents, including the White House occupants, to be the decisive votes in a close presidential contest, Coburn argued.
However, some might argue that repealing the amendment isnt really that pressing and sounds like a last-ditch attempt to avoid the real issue.