The District of Columbia has more residents than either Vermont or Wyoming, each of which get one House member and two senators, while the District lacks full voting representation. Last year, the House voted for statehood, the first time either chamber of Congress had done so. The growth in support for statehood comes in part because of the use of federal agents and the military against Black Lives Matter protesters in the District last summer—without local control, the District is at the mercy of the federal government. The attack on the Capitol underlined that again, when local officials had to wait for the federal government to okay a National Guard deployment.

The Senate bill “would also designate the areas surrounding the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the National Mall as the seat of the federal government. That area would inherit the name the ‘Capital’ and remain under the control of Congress, as mandated by the Constitution.”

Republicans, of course, have reason to fear statehood for D.C., since it would chip away at their ability to use minority rule to get their way. Keeping 700,000 people from being represented in Congress suits their partisan priorities.