Rep. Nancy Mace on Tuesday (R-SC) offered faulty reasoning for denying statehood to Washington, D.C. suggesting that its population size fell short of qualifying for a congressional district.
“D.C. wouldn’t even qualify as a singular congressional district,” Mace said on Tuesday. “And here they are, they want the power and the authority of being an entire state in the United States.”
Mace: D.C. wouldn’t even qualify as a singular congressional district.. pic.twitter.com/xF0YhrNdRc
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 20, 2021
Mace’s comments come as the House prepares to vote on an act next week which would designate Washington, D.C. as the nation’s 51st state.
The problem with her logic however is that two states — Wyoming and Vermont — have populations smaller than that of the District of Columbia. Ironically, Mace made the comments while standing next to House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, who represents Wyoming.
While the average size of a congressional district was just over 710,000 residents, according to a 2010 Census report, both Wyoming and Vermont each have fewer residents than Washington, D.C. whose population hovers at roughly 705,000, according to a 2019 tally.
When applying Mace’s population size logic, both Wyoming and Vermont also would be disqualified from earning a congressional district.
Beneath Mace’s argument is a fear among Republicans that designating the District of Columbia as a state would help Democrats, likely affording them two additional Democratic senators.
The issue of whether or not the District of Columbia should be designated as a state, while longstanding, gained greater attention in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack where local elected officials were rendered powerless as they called on former President Donald Trump to activate the D.C. National Guard which is controlled by the federal government.
The White House weighed in on the issue, registering its support of the “Washington, D.C. Admission Act” in a statement on Tuesday.
“For far too long, the more than 700,000 people of Washington, D.C. have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress. This taxation without representation and denial of selfgovernance is an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded,” the statement said.
It added: “The Administration calls for the Congress to provide for a swift and orderly transition to statehood for the people of Washington, D.C.”