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tv   Washington Journal Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton D-DC  CSPAN  April 18, 2021 6:24pm-6:51pm EDT

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calls, facebook comments, texts, and tweets. announcer: monday, the closing argument in the derek chauvin trial. watch our live coverage on c-span2 at 10:00 a.m.. listen with the c-span radio app. if you listen -- miss our wiped -- our live coverage watch on -- watch at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2. ve, the delegate or the district of columbia, eleanor holmes norton. welcome to washington journal. guest: thank you. great to be with you this morning. host: your bill on d.c. statehood is hr 51. it is likely ready for a vote, possibly early next week in the u.s. house. tell us why d.c. should be a state. guest: yes. 54 -- 54% of the u.s. people believe that d.c. should be a
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state. your nation's capital should be a state because it is in every way like every state. in some ways, it is more of a state than many states. it pays the residents -- residents pay that highest federal tax per capita in the united states. that makes us overqualified for statehood. the district pays -- the district enjoys the expansiveness -- we have more residents than two states.
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we pay more to support the federal government and yet -- then 21 states. -- than 21 states. there is no reason to take them more than 700,000 residents of the district of columbia and denied them the full benefit of statehood, which would mean that the congress could no longer interfere in the local affairs of the district of columbia, many may not know unless they see me fighting it, that some members try to overturn laws, because they do not agree with them. if we are a state, that would no longer be possible. that is a few of the reasons why we wish to become the 51st state. host: without getting into the constitutional weeds, on your hr
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51, how does the proposed getting around the constitutional stipulations about a district, a federal district, for the seat of government? how do you address that? guest: there is nothing in the constitution that prevents us from becoming a state. we will preserve the area that most people think of as the capital, the monument, the monument, the capital, demo -- the mall, that area will remain what we call capital. the neighborhoods of the district of columbia will become the 51st state. host: our guest is eleanor holmes norton and we are talking about the place to make d.c. a state. we welcome your calls, (202)
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748-8001 is for republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats and four independents and others, (202) 748-8002. it gets a little easier to pass the house when you have a democratic majority, but you now have received support from the president on this matter. and the senate is now democrat-controlled. what is different this time of -- this time round in terms of your optimism to get this bill passed? guest: it helps that democrats control the house, senate -- the senate is always a more difficult body. we have the support of virtually all democratic senders -- democratic senators. far more than 90% of the democratic senators. the chief obstacle is the filibuster. but the filibuster appears to be on its last leg. the senate was later organizing
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this time. it finally did organize and the filibuster is intact. the filibuster -- you cannot filibuster nominees as he used to be able to do. -- as you used to be able to do. the fact that the senate was held up speaks well for d.c. statehood. that would eliminate the filibuster four everything. -- for everything. the point there was not statehood. at the filibuster is eliminated, it would bode well for statehood fur the district of columbia. host: you represent nearly three quarters of a million of people. you are the representative from the district of columbia. tell our viewers how that role differs from being an actual
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representative from a state? guest: that is an important question. there is one difference. actually two differences. we do not have senators. when a bill passes in the house, it has defined senate allies. -- it has to find senate allies. my role my role is like the role of every other member. i have chaired committees and subcommittees. i am presently chairing the subcommittee working on one of the few bills we expect to get past this time, the transportation infrastructure bill. when it comes to the final vote, i cannot cast a vote on the house floor. that is what would happen for me in the house.
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what is more important to the district is perhaps that we would have two senators to make sure bills got past. an organization that rates members the most effective house members said that on bills and the member was able to get past. however, if the vote had to be on the senate, i have been -- i could not have declared the vote effective. we need senators so that i do not have to go over to the senate and do what i do every time i pass a bill in the house, and that is find synod allies. fortunately, we have many scented allies. that is why i am able to get anything done for the district of columbia. host: you serve on the committee
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and so does the ranking member james komar of kentucky. i want to point out for viewers and listeners and get your response to the criticism of the bill. congressman komar. >> d.c. statehood is a key part of the radical leftist agenda to reshape america along with the green nude deal, defunding the police, and packing the u.s. -- the green nude deal, defending the police and packing the u.s. supreme court. it is flatly unconstitutional. do not take my word for it, take the word of robert f kennedy, who said 60 years ago that granting d.c. statehood was inconceivable and would produce an absurdity. take the word of all of the
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justice department's from president kennedy to president obama. take the word of john dingell, a liberal titan, the longest serving member of congress, who supported every civil rights measure before congress for 40 years. take the word of ted kennedy who dismissed the statehood fallacy. take the word of the former delegate from d.c., my colleague eleanor holmes norton's president says her -- predecessor who opposed state would -- statehood and recognized the conch -- constitutional problem. the democrat congress in 1960 rejected statehood and passed the 23rd amendment which gave d.c. three votes in the electoral college. democrats try to fix the unconstitutionality of the bill. this language is meaningless.
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the only way to fix it is by a constitutional amendment. host: your response to the unconstitutional argument? guest: we have had constitutional experts, in the congress to testify on this bill as to his constitutionality. -- it's constitutionality. it was not set up as a state. the framers did not quite know what to call the district or make the district. so, they left that in the constitution without indicating what the final status of the district would be. they said look, it is the capital, it is the district, that is where we live. that is way framers left many
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things that have since been corrected. the fact is, while constitutional experts may differ, there is no doubt that this matter is constitutional. this is what i would predict. of course, i predict that the supreme court would not take it up. it would be considered a political question. a political question is a question not for the court. it is too fraught. [inaudible] -- host: our guest has a legal degree and master degree from yale university. let's go to andrew from redhook, new york on the independent line. caller: thank you for your time.
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i understand the premise of what you are pushing for statehood. but, the framers early did point out that they did not want d.c. to ever become a state because it would centralize power. currently, you would have how many senators living in washington dc? maybe not full-time, they do maintain residences, both the speakers of both of the houses, congress. by doing that, you are centralizing power. giving statehood does that tenfold, 100 fold. host: congresswoman norton? guest: senators live in d.c. when they are here.
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but they better maintain the residence where they are. d.c. does not get more power because the seat of government is here. senators take up residence here for the time they are in congress. but that does not give d.c. more power. that simply means that while they are here, they often vote against it d.c.. -- vote against d.c.. d.c. has never gained anything from the fact that members come here, congregate here, and often have second homes here. that has not helped us in any way. i regard it as irrelevant. host: nancy in east peoria, illinois. caller: if he is saying that the
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supreme court would not take this up, it is not a political matter. it is a constitutional matter. it makes us believe that this is why all of a sudden they want to pass the supreme court, because it could come up. i do not believe it should be a state. it was written as our founders as a place of our government, where our government is. so, i do not understand why they think that it is not unconstitutional to do it. host: congresswoman norton, your build would create a federal district that would be the seat of government, correct? guest: that is right. that federal district would be a district that most americans and most people in the world think of as capital. that is the square-mile between
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the monument and the capital -- capitol, including all of the federal sites. host: what about the attack on the capitol on january 6? how did this focus your views on d.c. statehood? what about that made you even more convinced that d.c. should be a state? guest: the january 6 insurrection did focus on statehood. the district was not able to even call its own national guard. one of the reasons the guard was so late in getting to the capitol and the insurrection lasted so long, was that matter was in the hands of the president. i should add that i have a bill that would give the district control over the national guard. that could be done by several statutes. although, it does point out, one of the infirmities of not having
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full control over everything a state controls. host: carol in newton center, massachusetts. carol, moot -- mute your volume on your television and go ahead. guest: i wanted to say hello to eleanor because i think we were in college together. ok one sec. host: carol in massachusetts. carol, did you mute the volume? go ahead with your comment. guest: eleanor. review it antioch college in yellow springs, ohio -- were you in antioch college in yellow springs, ohio? guest: yes. host: great to see you.
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guest: thank you. host: in california. caller: good morning. the land was donated to -- by a district state to make the district of columbia. why don't you give the land back to the other states? the original capital was in philadelphia. that is my comment. guest: i'm glad you brought that up. the land was donated by virginia and maryland. virginia took back the land. the constitution -- the supreme court refused to take it up. marilyn land is the land that remains that now forms the district of columbia. every single member of the
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maryland delegation supports statehood except the one republican member. one of the strongest supporters for statehood in the congress is a geordie leader -- majority leader from maryland. host: ron in wilson, north carolina on the democrats line. caller: d.c. statehood is long overdue and i want to thank ms. norton for her hard work. what were the republicans talking about regarding the election? host: regarding the election? caller: yes. they were saying they were not going to be any elections in the new state? guest: i am not sure what the caller means.
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host: let me ask you about the timing. i have read that the bill is likely to come up in the house next week. guest: that is right. we expected near the middle of the week. -- we expect it to the middle of the week. host: a similar bill passed in the 116th congress, correct? and it did not move forward? this senate was controlled by republicans. the president was president trump. have you gotten any indication from vito schumer on how soon the senate may take -- from leader schumer on how soon the senate may take up the bill when it passes the house? guest: the senate is working on getting well -- right of the filibuster but we have strong support in the senate. host: nelson from hollywood,
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florida on the republican line. caller: i want to stipulate that , once again, this is a move on the part of the democratic party to change the meaning of the constitution in order to gain more raw political power. that is all this really is. you cannot take a city and make part of it i state -- a state and allow another part of it to continue to be the district of columbia. that would be a volume relation -- a violation of the constitution. the framers of the constitution made it very clear that washington, d.c. could not become a state unless there is a new constitutional amendment accordingly. the democratic party, of which i used to be a member, is
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increasingly becoming un-american in the way it is conducting business. i am becoming afraid that the greatest threat to american liberty in this country is the democratic party. host: any response? guest: well, that is such a partisan contribution that it is hard for me to respond. he said he used to be a democrat. now he is republican. and he therefore has the view of his party. it does make me explain that typically when states have come in to the union as states, they have been there, one has been democratic, and one has been republican.
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the district suffers from the fact that we are coming in on our own. we have 54% of the american people supporting statehood, but we do not have something to counter what that last viewer just said. that was a hugely partisan remark. because he is a republican. in order to counter that kind of response, states come in two by two. we have got that 54%, even though b do not have a republican partner -- even though we do not have a republican partner. [applause] -- host: on the democrat line, alyssa in virginia. guest: -- caller: why not just, if we are all four states, have
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it be a part of maryland again? and have it run under those state laws? and keep it like a district, neighborhood, whatever you want to call it? the problem is that you are not able to administer it like a state. i love virginia. i am from virginia. marilyn is great too. host: in the overcurrent -- oversight committee you talked a little bit about how d.c. is very different from maryland in terms of the culture, the people that think -- things that happen in the city. expand on that a little. guest: the first thing about maryland is that marilyn -- maryland gave the land that now forms the district of columbia in a way that would not allow it to take it back if it wanted to.
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it was in perpetuity -- in perpetuity. it gave the land to form the capitol of the united states. as i mentioned before, maryland supports statehood for the district of columbia. marilyn gave the land and cannot take it back. -- maryland gave the land and cannot take it back. >> c spans washington journal. we discussed policy issues that impact you. monday morning, we will talk about the week ahead in washington, first with bloomberg news white house reporter and later with washington examiner chief congressional correspondent. then, a discussion on student loan forgiveness proposals with washington post reporter.
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and, the history of vaccine passports. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern one day morning. join the discussion with phone calls, facebook comments, texts, and tweets. >> the house meets monday at noon, eastern on -- and 2:00 p.m. eastern for legislative business. lawmakers considering a bill for the district of columbia to become a state. another bars -- the senate returns at 3:00 eastern to continue work on anti-asian hate crime legislation. later in the week senators begin working on the second nomination for gary gensler to serve on the securities and exchange commission. they are expected to work on
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water infrastructure legislation. watch live coverage of the house on c-span. the senate on c-span two. follow our congressional coverage anytime at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. ♪ c-span is your unfiltered view of government, created by america's cable television companies in 1979. today we are brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span2 viewers as a public service. >> senator tim scott spoke at the republican party fundraiser in davenport, iowa. he was joined by our governor kim reynolds to talk about the covid-19 pandemic, the economy, and race relations.

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