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Biden's budget office gives formal support for Washington, D.C., statehood

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The Washington Monument is seen behind security fencing that was erected for President Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, D.C., on January 29. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/3754676162b0301d2089656cf9fcd064/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Washington Monument is seen behind security fencing that was erected for President Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, D.C., on January 29. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

April 20 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden gave a full endorsement Tuesday of Washington, D.C.'s campaign for statehood by supporting a House proposal to make it the 51st state.

House Resolution 51 has been approved in committee and is awaiting a full floor vote.

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"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," Biden's White House budget office said in a statement.

"This taxation without representation and denial of self-governance is an affront to the democratic values on which our nation was founded."

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"H.R. 51 rights this wrong by making Washington, D.C., a state and providing its residents with long-overdue full representation in Congress, while maintaining a federal district that will continue to serve as our nation's seat of government," it added.

A similar D.C. statehood bill was approved for the first time by the Democratic-held House last year, but it was never picked up by the Republican-controlled Senate.

The new bill has added support, which has partly come from a wide movement for racial and social equality that followed the death of George Floyd a year ago.

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"Washington, D.C. has a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy," the budget office said. "The administration calls for the Congress to provide for a swift and orderly transition to statehood for the people of Washington, D.C."

If passed in the House, the proposal would head to the Senate, where Democrats hold a one-vote majority.

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (L) looks on as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Fudge, the first Black woman to lead the department in decades, speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

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