Eleanor Holmes Norton
Eleanor Holmes Norton

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said she was grateful to her friend Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her strong public statement this week in support of Norton’s bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51).

Norton introduced H.R. 51 with a record 155 original cosponsors. House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has committed to holding a hearing and markup on H.R. 51 this year.

In her statement, Pelosi said, “For too long, the residents of the District of Columbia have served our nation in uniform, paid taxes and contributed to the economic power and success of our country while being denied the full enfranchisement that is their right. H.R. 51, The Washington, D.C. Admission Act, is a critical step in righting this historic wrong.”

“Speaker Pelosi has always been one of the District’s greatest friends and allies in Congress,” Norton said.

“Her resounding endorsement of H.R. 51 is the most important step yet in getting a House floor vote on the statehood bill. I look forward to working closely with the Speaker in our new Democratic House majority as we move H.R. 51 through the committee process and seek a House floor vote on it.”

Norton has introduced similar legislation before, but she said she now has 151 co-sponsors, a record high for the proposed legislation.

Granting the District of Columbia statehood would add two U.S. senators and an additional voting representative in the House.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her 14th term as the congresswoman for the District of Columbia, is the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. She serves on two committees: the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Before her congressional service, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to serve as the first woman to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Norton is a tenured professor of law at Georgetown University. She received her bachelor's degree from Antioch College in Ohio. She earned her law degree and a master's degree in American Studies from Yale University.