Manchin Doesn’t Support DC Statehood Bill, Says It Should Be Done Through a Constitutional Amendment

 

Senator Joe Manchin (D- WV) said Friday he opposes legislation to make Washington D.C. a state, and thinks it should be done as a constitutional amendment instead.

The West Virginia Democrat has been talked about as the “most powerful senator,” given how the Senate is evenly divided and how Manchin’s opposition tanked one notable Biden administration nominee.

On Friday, per the Washington Post, Manchin came out against legislation passed by the Democratic-led House to make Washington D.C. the nation’s 51st state, and said it should be a constitutional amendment instead.

Manchin cited findings from the Justice Department under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and comments from then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in reaching his decision.

“They all came to the same conclusion: If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment. It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote,” Manchin said in a radio interview with Hoppy Kercheval of West Virginia’s MetroNews, the full audio of which was provided to The Washington Post by Manchin’s staff.

“Let the people of America vote,” Manchin said.

He invoked the 23rd Amendment as an obstacle to statehood. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton put out a statement Friday afternoon saying it’s an “incorrect assertion” that the amendment needs to be repealed first.

In response to Manchin’s comments, Norton said to the Post, “There are multiple ways to deal with the 23rd amendment. We recognize it as an obstacle, but nothing like an absolute obstacle.”

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac