tv Senate Republicans Announce Infrastructure Plan CSPAN April 22, 2021 4:02pm-4:26pm EDT
reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. comer: i yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. roy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. roy: my friend from maryland makes an excellent closing case in court because he knows that this is going to be in court because he knows that this is constitutionally infirm, and he's trying to make the case that's going to have to be made in court on the losing side of the argument because it is clearly unconstitutional to add d.c. as a state by statute. and what we have here today is a simple question -- is anybody in this room believe that if lubbock, texas, had been set up as the capital seat of the united states of america that my colleagues and others on the other side of the aisle would be arguing to give it the position of statehood? no. of course not. this city was set up by the founders to be the capital seat of the united states of america. it was not set up to be a state. and when my friends said that every other state has been added
by statute, none of those had been specifically set up as the capital seat of the united states of america. this should be rejected. it is unconstitutional. d.c. has never been a state. it shouldn't be a state. and it's not going to be a state. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. maloney: i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from illinois, congressman danny davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mr. davis: thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank you for yielding to me. and also, i want to commend you, chairman maloney, on your outstanding leadership on this committee. i also want to take a moment and commend my colleague, who has been championing d.c. statehood before i even came to congress. you know, i listen intently to
all of the arguments. it always gets back to one -- how are the people in d.c. more likely to vote? and they're going to vote more likely democratic. are three going -- are they going to vote for democrats? let me tell you, i have people in my district who vote for republicans. can you imagine that? they vote republican. but we don't deny them the right to vote. we don't deny them the right to representation. all that we're seeking and all that we're asking for is simply the principle that no taxation without representation. i think we learned that in grammar school when we took u.s. history, when we first learned how great this country is and how great it can be. well, i look forward to the people of washington, d.c.,
having all rights of citizenship as a member of a state, voting in the greatest state in the country when it becomes one, washington, d.c. thank you, madam chairman, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york -- the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. comer: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. keller. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. keller: thank you, mr. speaker. in 1964, then-attorney general robert f. kennedy summed it up best as to why the framers put the capital outside the borders for control of any state. it was indispensably necessary, this is his quote, to the independence and the very existence of the new federal government to have a seat of government which was not subject to the jurisdiction or control of any state. as true as that was when this was said, as true as that was
when the nation -- when the capitol was moved here, it's that true today. and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle -- i'm glad remember history -- when the seat of the federal government was in new york city and in philadelphia, the birthplace of america, they didn't want it in control of a state. therefore, the district of columbia was created. the district of columbia, under the control of the united states congress, because that is -- who should be determining what happens for the 50 states. our colleagues on the other side want to change an amendment to the constitution with law. what about other amendments to the constitution and how they read those? will they try to change those with law? this is not taxation without representation. this is about a democrat power grab. let's call it what it is. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. maloney: i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from texas, congresswoman jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished chairwoman, and i thank distinguished member, congresswoman from the district of columbia. in the judiciary committee right now we're holding hearings to fight against the scourge of voter suppression and the unfortunately abolishment of section 5 by the shelby case. i have heard shoutings of hallelujah when that case was abolished. the reason is because we are here today -- denying citizens of the united states the right to be represented fairly in the united states congress. the 23rd amendment, well, i can cite for you the 14th amendment and the 15th amendment, not depriving people of their liberty and justice. what about those soldiers who
shed blood from the district of columbia? those who are paying taxes from the district of columbia? but the very citizens who worked to move the engine of government living in the district of columbia. my friends know the capital will be separated. my friends know there is a basic constitutional unfairness when you deny people the right to vote. and i wonder whether or not the problem is that when i first arrived here many years ago it was called chocolate city. let us not make this a racial issue. let us make this a justice issue, a constitutional issue. it is important, mr. speaker, vote for this legislation for the 51st state. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. comer: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. grothman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for one minute. mr. grothman: d.c. statehood is a ridiculous idea which would shock our forefathers. it's a government city. no minimal manufacturing,
agriculture, or natural resources. with all its government jobs and universities, it's a rescission- -- recession-proof city and should be one of the easiest cities to govern. let's see how the local people are doing. this is the second highest spending area in the country per person. how do they do? tide for worse at fourth grade reading scores. worst in the country eighth grade writing scores. second worse in the country in eighth grade math. they have more homeless here than 29 states. of the cities with at least 600,000 people, they have the sixth highest murder rate. if they were to become a state, it would immediately be the state with the highest murder rate in the country. right now, by comparison, only 49% of the parents, newborn children in the district of columbia are married. by comparison, again, great
foreign capital taipei, 96% of the parents are married. this is a government city and it would do a horrible job as a state. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. maloney: mr. speaker, under the admissions clause of the constitution, congress has the authority to admit new states. and that's why all 37 new states have been admitted by simple legislation. no state has ever been admitted by a constitutional amendment. and the republicans want d.c. to use an admissions process that has never been used in the history of this country. the district clause of the constitution gives congress authority over the federal district and establishes a maximum size of the federal district, 100 square miles.
it does not establish a minimum size. h.r. 51 would maintain a two square mile federal district. and with that i reserve and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves from new york. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. comer: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from south carolina, ms. mace. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. ms. mace: thank you, mr. speaker. i've seen more damage done in the first 100 days of this administration than i thought possible in four years. rather than unity it's been division. rather than working together it's been partisanship. we're hearing even today in the comments that we're trying to stoke racial division in this country. this is nothing but a naked power play today. that's all this is about. people who can't get their radical agenda passed under this system our framers set out now want to blow it up. they're nothing -- this is nothing but ideological terrorism by those willing to completely ignore the
constitution and system of government. whether it's a tax on the first, second, third, or fourth amendment, or turning our federal seat to two more far left senators, they simply do not care. they want what they want. this is not about a balance of power. this is about more power. this is about government-run health care, the green new deal, higher taxes and a less efficient form of government. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from south carolina yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. maloney: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the gentlewoman from illinois and senior chief deputy whip, congresswoman schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized for one minute. ms. schakowsky: i rise in strong support of ending the disenfranchisement of over 700,000 people, including most of the staff that works for us every single day.
our nation is the only democratic country in the world that denies full democratic rights to the citizens living in its nation's capital. . that's more than 700,000 american citizens who pay federal taxes, who fight and die in wars, who serve on our juries, and yet have no vote in the senate or the house of representatives. that is the definition of taxation without representation. it is 219 years overdue for the city -- citizens of the district of columbia to have their right to vote. let me thank and commend my colleague, eleanor holmes norton, for all of her decades of work. it is time to vote yes on statehood for the district of columbia. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois yields back. the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from kentucky virginia tech.
mr. comer: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. making d.c. a city state is unconstitutional, it's impractical, and supplies in the face of the founder's intent. james madison said it simheff in the federalist papers. unfortunately our colleagues across the aisle are trying to make this about race. i thought it was inevitable and sad and unfortunate. let's look at data. in 1800 this was -- this city was a white majority. 10,600, 4,000 african-american residents. then 150 years later in 1950, 517,000 white residents to 280 thousand african-american residents. so for 150 years this was a white majority city and there was no serious effort to make it a state. mr. fallon: there is a way we can solve this issue. no taxation without representation. it's flawed because there is local government. and they have a delegate here. but with retrosession making
washington and putting it back into maryland would give them add add seat and would address that very issue. the g.o.p. is acting in good faith because we know that seat will be a democratic seat. but it's the right thing to do. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. maloney: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to a champion for equality and the 51st state, to the distinguished gentleman from maryland and house majority leader, steny hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the chair. i rise in very strong support of this legislation. i want to just briefly respond to the remarks of the gentleman who preceded me. by retrosession.
retrosession is an interesting idea that my republican colleagues have. it has to do with the issue of two united states senators. one could say that has to do on both sides of the aisle, two united states senators. the history of adding states has been a history where focus is on those two united states senators that would be added. and the party that one of them, the party that didn't want them. but retrosession, frankly, is an interesting idea except for the fact that the gentleman talked about the founding fathers. and james madison, the federalist papers, one of the articles of debate were, if you had a state, i.e. maryland, whose land, of course, the federal city is located on,
virginia gave some but they took it back. you would have a state surrounding the federal enclave. no difference. except it would be maryland and not washington douglass commonwealth. so that argument limps. it fails. because you are suggesting the same thing that some have said is of concern to them. so the only difference is two senators. so this isn't about politics. throughout history people have guessed as to what the new states were going to be. some knew absolutely. we have north and south dakota. i don't know whether any of you
know why we have north and south dakota. two senators versus four senators. and the republicans who were in charge wanted to have four senators to assure their majority in the senate as opposed to the democrats in the south. ironic how things change. so if you are voting on politics, i get it. but on principle nevada was added and taken from utah, by the way, because the republicans who were then in charge back in the day wanted to have two additional senators. and they got them. with less than 10,000 people living in the area that was taken from utah, wyoming, and colorado. and formed nevada. so let's not get mired in these
principled votes because this is about two senators. we get it. it is not about principle. because there are over 700,000 people, 712 to be exact, maybe more when we get the crepe suss reports, -- census reports, who are unequal citizens in america. i want to thank the incomparable eleanor holmes norton for her hard work and tireless advocacy for so many years as the leader of this cause. on behalf of equal rights for the citizens she represents without a vote. why? are they lesser citizens? is she a lesser representative? surely not. if a president of the united states, republican or democrat,
asks somebody to come to the district of columbia and work for the u.s. government, bring your talents, your energy, and your focus to work for your country in washington, d.c. but, oh, by the way, you have to give up your vote in the congress of the united states. three your representative. no other democracy are residents of the national capital excluded from representation. none. i think the founders had no concept of how big this city would become, how vibrant it would become. none. yet nearly 700,000 americans are denied full representation. the founders of our union of states set forth a simple process for the admission of new states to that union. they believed the 13 of them that adding new states would be positive for the country. and that they would want people
represented in the territories in the congress when they became states and qualified to be such. they saw that process with an expansion both healthy and workable and they believe it would strengthen our democracy. through the years, however, the admission of new states has been a very contentious process. on both sides of the aisle. and there was a time in our history in the latter half of the 19th century when republicans effected the admission of a number of new states in order to increase the numbers in the senate. they accomplished that objective in some respects. in one note the examples i just mentioned nevada in 1864, less than 10,000 people. the criteria at that point in time, theoretically, was 60,000. but it was ignored. it was ignored, two senators. that's what this issue is about. two senators. it is not about whether on a
principleled may bayhcies we caught to give 712,000 of our citizens the right to be equally represented in the congress of the united states. no, if they live here we ask them to give up that right. that same process, as i mentioned, was repeated in the admission of north and south dakota. they had hardly any people living there. they can hardly qualify if you put all the dakota territory together, but what the republicans did was they were in charge at that point in time, they divided it. north and south dakota. what happened? two extra senators. it wasn't about principle. about how many people, what the economic status was. it was about how many senators. my friends across the aisle complain that this bill would lead to the election of two additional democratic senators,
so what? is that the criteria? the political judgment of the citizens of some entity seeking to become a state? there is nothing in the constitution about that. zero. it is the politics of it, i get it. but it is not the principle. i hope people vote on principle. if they believe that their fellow citizens who happen to live within this -- used to be a square, but a square minus that to the south of the potomac, this legislation is very different than when they admitted those states in the 19th century. it is different because it is based on the demonstrable need to provide representation to
hundreds of thousands of americans who deserve to have their voice heard in our democracy. and they have determined they want to be a part. our founders were offended, indeed, outraged that they were forced to pay taxes but were afforded no representation by the body that set those taxes. wouldn't all of us have been there, the tea party, saying you cannot tax us, england, without us having representation in the parliament. i'm sure you have heard the argument from many people on this floor, i won't repeat them, about the level of taxation that is paid by the citizens of the district of columbia. but they have no say in the level of those taxes which so outraged our founders. moreover, this legislation would end the unjust practice
of treating d.c. residents differently than their fellow citizens in the 50 states when it comes to allocating resources or providing covid-19 relief under the cares act last year. mr. speaker, when president eisenhower, republican president, pu but not a very partisan president, unlike today, where we have seen a very partisan president, no longer there, mr. speaker, when president eisenhower addressed the question of admitting hawaii as a state in the 1950's, he said the following, by the way i think all of you probably know that when alaska and hawaii were admitted not too far apart in years, alaska was perceived to be a democratic state and hawaii was perceived to