clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Congress reschedules its first D.C. statehood hearing in years to September 19

The original date was moved to avoid a conflict with Robert Mueller’s testimony

The U.S. Capitol building, a white domed structure featuring columns, against a cloudy blue sky and beyond green grass and trees.
U.S. Capitol

Update, July 29:

A House committee will host a widely awaited public hearing on D.C. statehood September 19 at 10 a.m., the District’s congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, said Monday. In a statement, Norton thanked Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who chairs the committee on oversight and reform, for setting the hearing—the first time Congress will hold a hearing on D.C. statehood in more than 25 years. Pending legislation would make D.C. the newest state.

The hearing was originally scheduled for July 24, but it was pushed back because former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was to testify before Congress that day. The hearing also will follow the release of the results of a national Gallup poll this month that found 64 percent of Americans said they opposed rendering D.C. its own state. District officials including Norton and Mayor Muriel Bowser panned the poll on the grounds that its key question lacked detail.

Original post, July 15:

The first hearing Congress is to hold on D.C. statehood since 1993 is being delayed until the fall, after initially being scheduled for July 24. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s congressional delegate, announced the change Saturday, saying it was because former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now slated to testify in front of two congressional committees on that date.

“This hearing will inform people of what most do not know – that the residents of their nation’s capital do not have full voting rights in the House and have no representation in the Senate,” Norton said in a statement. “We will use this postponement to nationalize our efforts, giving national attention to the disenfranchisement of D.C. residents and to continue to build support for the bill in the House, Senate and across the country.” Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who chairs the committee on oversight and reform, approved the delay.

The hearing will now take place “likely in September,” according to Norton’s office. A bill by her that would give the District two senators and one representative currently has a record 213 voting cosponsors. At the federal level, there has been a renewed push for statehood since Democrats took over the House of Representatives earlier this year. D.C.’s population of more than 700,000 residents exceeds those of two other states: Wyoming and Vermont.

Mueller was set to testify separately before two congressional committees July 17 on his now-closed office’s work investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But his appearance on the Hill was pushed back by a week to grant him more time to testify.