Opinion | Is This the Year D.C. Becomes a State?

Produced by ‘The Argument’

The District of Columbia can almost taste statehood. Last month, House Democrats passed a bill that would make it the 51st state. This is the second time in history that such a legislation has been passed in the House. But it’s not only a question of representation: Making D.C. a state would add two probably Democratic senators and one Democratic representative, at a time when Democrats could use all the votes they can get. And Republicans aren’t willing to give in that easily.

This week, we’re debating the future of D.C. and the trade-offs of potential statehood. Dan McLaughlin is senior writer for National Review and a former attorney. George Derek Musgrove is an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a co-author of “Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital.”

Mentioned in this episode:

“The District of Columbia Should Not Be a State,” by Dan McLaughlin in National Review

“The 51st State America Needs,” by George Derek Musgrove and Chris Myers Asch in The New York Times

“The 51st State?” on the “Today, Explained” podcast by Vox.

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“The Argument” is produced by Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez and Vishakha Darbha, and edited by Alison Bruzek and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; audience strategy by Shannon Busta.

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