Joe Lieberman to push senators on DC statehood
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is set to call on undecided senators on both sides of the aisle to push for their support for statehood for Washington, D.C.
Lieberman told Forbes that he “would be glad to” call on senators to support the measure after being asked to do so by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who is leading the push for D.C. statehood legislation in the upper chamber.
Carper told news outlet that Lieberman will reach out to undecided Democrats and Republicans and urge them to back the measure.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) added that while Lieberman is one of his “dearest friends,” the former senator’s push would have “zero chance” of swaying his vote on statehood for the nation’s capital, according to Forbes.
The House is expected to pass legislation on Thursday that would make Washington the 51st state. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a press conference on Wednesday that he expects all House Democrats to vote in favor of the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is expected to give the legislation a vote, but its prospects face an uncertain future in the upper chamber.
Democrats have a slim majority in the upper chamber, with Vice President Harris voting to break ties in the 50-50 Senate. The party would still need moderate lawmakers like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to back the statehood effort.
Republicans have widely bashed the idea of D.C. statehood, calling in a power grab to shift the balance of the upper chamber.
The District is overwhelmingly and would all but ensure two additional Democratic senators.
But Democrats point out that D.C. residents lack voting power in Congress, despite paying federal taxes. The District’s residents pay more federal income tax per capita than the residents of any state in the country.
The Hill has reached out to Carper’s office for comment.