D.C. Scores a Small Win in the House
The House passed a bill Wednesday to allow the District to have one statue of a famous D.C. resident in Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building.
In addition to passing legislation like the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the House of Representatives passed a bill near and dear to the District: the D.C. Statue Bill. With a voice vote, the House moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, which calls for the District to be represented in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. The passage is seen as a small victory in the ongoing saga of D.C. Statehood.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill in June to have two statues placed in Statuary Hall, an honor given freely to states.
Recently, Ward 2 District Councilmember Jack Evans wrote a letter to House and Senate leadership including, House Speaker John Boehner, incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Evans, who was instrumental in securing the funds for the District's two statues, asked that leaders bring the bill to a vote prior to leaving for recess.
Representative Dan Lungren (R-CA) proposed a companion bill to Norton's that would allow the District and other territories one statue each in the Capitol. Norton decided to proceed with the one-statue bill, hoping it would have a better chance of passage.
In a statement on her website, Norton said, "The unanimous support the statue bill received during our floor debate, passing without opposition, gives us momentum as the bill moves to the Senate."
Should the bill pass the Senate, D.C can choose either one of the already commissioned and existing statues of Frederick Douglass or Pierre L'Enfant, or could have another statue made of another deceased District resident.