With Democrats now in control of congress, the senate and the White House, there are again calls for Washington DC to become a state. There are, of course, few arguments against DC statehood. Republicans, though, know that the state would be deeply blue, hurting their chances for control.
Poor arguments have never stopped Ron Johnson from throwing his hat in the ring. The Wisconsin senator tried to engage DC mayor Muriel Bowser in a debate at the matter on Tuesday and was soundly defeated.
Johnson made the argument during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meeting. He told the mayor:
“Those individuals who are within the District obviously have a vested interest in a very powerful federal government. Which is counter to the power vested in the states [and] the states want to maintain their sovereign power. To me, this seems just like a naked power grab.”
He continued, “In 2020, 92.2% of D.C. votes went to the Democratic candidate; 5.4% went to the Republican candidate. In the last 80 elections, no Republican candidate has gotten more than 10% of the vote.”
Bowser responded, “Thank you, Senator, for your interest in the District. But I have to address first by talking about the residents of D.C. — 700,000 people, hardworking individuals who educate their children, start businesses, and work in the District. It would be incorrect to say that D.C. residents have more of an interest in the federal government than other Americans.”
Johnson then tried to deflect the argument by talking about George Floyd protests in DC. The GOP essentially has no argument against DC statehood, so they will continue to use their tried and true method of whataboutism.
Watch a clip of the exchange below: