Journalist: Dems should push for Puerto Rico, DC statehood after 2020

Washington Monthly’s editor-in-chief, Paul Glastris, on Monday said Democrats should push for statehood for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, arguing that it would help them in elections. 

“I believe that Democrats should lay the groundwork for having the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico become states in 2021, should Democrats take the House, the Senate and the White House,” Glastris told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball on “Rising.”

“Thirty-seven times since the founding of the country we’ve added states to the union. We last time did it in 1959 when we added Hawaii and Alaska. There’s very good reason why we should do this,” he continued. 

“The disastrous response by the federal government to the hurricane in Puerto Rico is really example No. 1. If Puerto Rico were a state and had two senators, I can guarantee the federal government would not have been able to get away with the slow-walking of the response, and thousands of people might not have died.”

Glastris argues in an article titled “Winning is not enough,” that Democrats need to figure out how to retain power for more than two years in more than one branch of government.

“A relentless, and somewhat ruthless effort by the Democrats to expand the number of citizens who can vote and do vote is not only good for the country if you believe voting is a right that ought to be exercised, but it’s very good for the Democratic Party,” Glastris said. 

Puerto Rico’s nonvoting representative introduced legislation in Congress last month to grant statehood to the island, which has been a U.S. territory since 1898.

A majority of voters in Washington, D.C., voted in favoring of petitioning Congress to become a state in 2016. 

— Julia Manchester

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