Watch Live: House committee holds hearing on D.C. statehood

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is holding a hearing Monday on a bill to establish Washington, D.C. as the nation’s 51st state, legislation that mirrors a bill that passed last year.

In January, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District in Congress as a non-voting delegate, reintroduced H.R. 51, which would create the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth – named for Frederick Douglass. The measure would give D.C. two U.S. senators and a voting representative in the House.

The House passed a bill to make D.C. a state last year by a vote of 232-180, but it died in the Republican-led Senate.

How to watch congressional hearing on D.C. statehood

  • What: Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and others testify on a bill that would make Washington, D.C. the nation’s 51st state
  • Date: Monday, March 22, 2021
  • Time: 11 a.m. ET
  • Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 
  • Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device

“The enfranchisement of 712,000 D.C. residents is a top priority for the Oversight and Reform Committee,” Chairwoman Caroline Maloney said in a statement to CBS News. Calling it a “civil rights issue,” Maloney continued, “After years of stagnation, we are witnessing a real and sustained momentum behind D.C. Statehood.”

The bill has 215 co-sponsors, and its passage in the House is all but inevitable. Senator Tom Carper, Democrat of Delaware, has introduced a companion bill in the Senate, with 40 of the 50 Democratic senators signed on as co-sponsors. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has committed to bringing the bill to the Senate floor.

Proponents argue D.C. statehood is necessary because the city’s majority-Black and Brown population is disenfranchised by their lack of representation in Congress. D.C. would be the only plurality-Black state in the country if statehood were to pass.

Note: Streaming plans are subject to change

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