By Representative Paul Gosar

Every year in Washington, D.C. the local government, surrounded by churlish democrats, claim that the District of Columbia should be a state. Let me tell you why this is silly, wrong and unconstitutional.

First, the Constitution, our governing document, says it cannot be a state. It is a federal enclave, literally a federal “District” much like a military base. Like all federal property, Congress has exclusive control over it. Our sacred Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 reads: “The Congress shall have Power To …exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States.” Thus, the District of Columbia was created as a federal enclave to be exclusively controlled by Congress.

A long time ago, with good intentions no doubt, Congress allowed locals to run their local affairs, like zoning, roads, and schools. However, the locals in Washington, D.C. have a proven track record of corruption, incompetence and maladministration. Residents of D.C. got some rights to vote in the electoral college in 1961 but otherwise Congress is still the overseer and, in my view, because of the incredibly poor job local D.C. government does, Congress should run Washington, D.C. and appoint the mayor and city council. Bryan Weaver, a Democrat activist, noted in 2010, “But when it comes to D.C., there’s a culture of corruption that really exists.”

Let’s look at crime. Crime in the capitol has always been a problem, but in recent years violent crimes have skyrocketed. Just a few weeks ago a congresswoman was assaulted in an elevator, and a few days ago a staffer for Sen. Paul was stabbed and is clinging to his life. His attacker had been released from prison just the day before instead of serving life in prison for the many other crimes he committed. During the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots and insurrection, the local government did nothing to stop the insurrectionists, arrest criminals or prosecute them. Over $2 billion in damage was done, and not one member of Antifa or Black Lives Matter was charged. One would think a competent local government would crack down on this, but instead, local police do not arrest many suspects, and those that are arrested, the Far-Left prosecutors refuse to prosecute two thirds of the arrestees. The prosecutor in D.C. decides which cases to charge and how the government presents its evidence. In recent years, the prosecutor has declined to prosecute so many crimes that now most arrests don’t result in charges. In 2022, D.C. prosecutors “declined” 67% of all arrests; i.e. they reviewed the arrest and declined to press charges. This included 52% of felony arrests and 72% of misdemeanor arrests. Washington, D.C. is a dangerous city, and if something happens to you here, you can be certain whoever harms you will get away with it.

Let’s look at homelessness. D.C. condones, coddles and rewards homeless transients. Tents are all over. A properly functioning local government would not allow rampant homelessness, drug use and crime. But they do.

Why do democrats want D.C. to be a state? This one is easy. Washington, D.C. has been controlled by democrats (as is obvious from the corruption, rampant crime and homelessness) for decades. D.C. has 75% if its voters registered as democrats. Only 6% are registered Republicans. Democrats want statehood to get two more democrat votes in the Senate. It is no more complicated than that.

Gosar Reintroduces Bill to Improve Congressional Oversight Over Washington, D.C.

I don’t just talk about the problems in our country, I do something to solve them! That includes the mess I just outlined in Washington, DC. This week, I reintroduced the D.C. Home Rule Improvement Act, legislation that would increase the timeframe for congressional review of D.C. statutes from 30 days to 60 days for all statutes. It would import the tried-and-true provisions of the Congressional Review Act’s expedited procedures into law. It would allow for individual “provisions” of any D.C. law to be overturned, important in the context of larger D.C. measures such as the yearly Budget Support Act, which typically includes dozens (at least) of different modifications to the code. Finally, it would provide for any member to move to discharge from the committees of jurisdiction any resolution that had not been the subject of action for 20 days.

The current procedure has been used sparingly in large part because of its weaknesses. Recent debates over particularly egregious D.C. actions, such as the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act, which passed the House but did not receive a vote in the Senate, or the D.C. individual mandate provision of the 2018 Budget Support Act, show the need for expanded, robust procedures for the Congress to oversee D.C. activities. The enclave clause of the Constitution makes it clear that Congress has oversight over the District of Columbia. In light of that constitutional imperative, its toolkit should be robust, meaningful, and reasonably accessible for policymakers. The D.C. Home Rule Improvement Act helps achieve this aim.   back...