Dem primaries

Clinton touts support for DC statehood in op-ed

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Hillary Clinton backed the push to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and lambasted “right-wing ideologues in Congress” for meddling in its affairs in a new op-ed written just a month before the district’s Democratic primary.

The Democratic front-runner promised to be a “vocal champion for D.C. statehood” in a Wednesday piece published in The Washington Informer, an African-American newspaper that serves the metro area.

{mosads}“Lacking representatives with voting power, the District of Columbia is often neglected when it comes to federal appropriations,” she wrote.

“Washingtonians are Americans, too, and it’s time they had a say in their own status.”

Thanks to its status as a federal district, Washington lacks voting members of Congress and federal lawmakers have the final say over its budget. That has often pitted the strongly liberal city against the House Republican majority — most recently on the city’s vote to legalize marijuana.

“Many of the District’s decisions are also at the mercy of right-wing ideologues in Congress, and as you can imagine, they don’t show very much of it,” Clinton wrote.

“Everything from commonsense gun laws to providing women’s health care and efforts to cut down on drug abuse has been halted by Republicans, who claim the District is an exception to their long-held notion that communities ought to be able to govern themselves.”

She also used the opportunity to bash presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump as apathetic to the issue, noting that he recently called the issue “tough” without expressing an opinion.

“Of course, it comes as little surprise that Donald Trump hasn’t given this issue much thought,” Clinton wrote.

“Well, I think what’s been tough for the District is having virtually no say in its own affairs for decades. And by fighting to bring about the creation of a 51st state, I believe we can break down a barrier that’s stood in the way of progress for far too long and give more Americans a say in America.”

It’s not the first time Clinton has backed statehood for the nation’s capital — she told Washington’s non-voting member of Congress, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), last year that she supports making D.C. the 51st state. 

Washington will hold the last primary on the Democratic calendar on June 14, awarding 20 delegates. The state also has three electoral votes in the general election, thanks to the 23rd Amendment. 

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