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Bernie Sanders joins push for DC statehood

Bernie Sanders joins push for DC statehood
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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHarris presses young people to vote early in Iowa trip Dems lower expectations for 'blue wave' Election Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout MORE and a group of more than a dozen senators are calling for Washington, D.C., to become the 51st state in the nation.

In their proposal, the federal government would still maintain control over portions of the nation’s capital that surround the White House, Congress, Supreme Court and National Mall.

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The rest of the nation’s capital would be renamed New Columbia and given full representation in Congress under the legislation introduced by Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Trump administration doubles down on climate skepticism | Suspended EPA health official hits back | Military bases could host coal, gas exports Trump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths MORE (D-Del.). 

Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.), one of 16 co-sponsors of the New Columbia Admission Act, said it is "morally wrong" to block District residents from federal representation.

“Washington D.C. is currently home to more people than the state of Vermont, yet its residents lack voting representation in Congress," Sanders told The Hill in a statement. "I think it is morally wrong for American citizens who pay federal taxes, fight in our wars, and live in our country to be denied the basic right to full congressional representation.”

The sentiment was echoed by Carper.

“The District of Columbia is not just a collection of government offices, monuments and museums,” Carper said in a statement. "It is home to more than 600,000 people who build lives, families, and careers here. These Americans serve in our military, die defending our country, serve on our juries, and pay federal taxes. Yet, despite their civic contributions, they are not afforded a vote in either chamber of Congress."

- Updated at 3:46 p.m.