Mary Rose Corkery
“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd said Friday he believes D.C. and Puerto Rico will be states “by the end of this decade.”
“Look, it ain’t gonna happen this year, but I think we’re gonna see a new flag probably with two more stars on it probably by the end of this decade,” Todd said on “The TODAY Show.” The House passed a bill Thursday in a 216-208 vote that would designate D.C. as the nation’s 51st state.
D.C. would become the “Washington, Douglass Commonwealth” and keep a smaller, separate federal district if the bill passes. At least 10 Republican senators would have to align with Senate Democrats to clear Congress, but the party wouldn’t need the backing of Republicans if the filibuster were eliminated.
Democrats would need every senator in their party to vote with them, including more moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
Republicans opposed to the bill it’s unconstitutional and that Democrats want two more Senate spots and another House seat for political reasons. Many progressives within the Democratic Party want to see Puerto Rico and D.C. become states, contending that those areas deserve representation.
“I do think the momentum is there. An all Latino state, very, you know, a majority Latino state in Puerto Rico, majority African-American state in the district. I think it’s gonna happen,” Todd said.
Todd said although the push doesn’t have momentum in 2021, momentum will increase over the course of the decade.
“I do think the path to D.C. statehood actually goes through the Caribbean. It goes through Puerto Rico and in fact, the movement for Puerto Rico’s statehood has been gaining momentum and that actually has some Republican allies,” Todd said.
Todd referenced his podcast interview with Puerto Rico’s governor, saying the governor “wants to work with the district, if you will, the same people organizing because in many ways, there is more openness on the right, particularly with Florida’s Republican senators for Puerto Rico’s statehood.”
Republican Alaska Rep. Don Young and 14 GOP House members were sponsors of the present bill over Puerto Rico’s statehood, but Young is against granting statehood to D.C., Alaska Public Media reported April 16.
“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace said Friday he doesn’t believe the D.C. statehood bill will survive the Senate, during an interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“As far as D.C statehood, absolutely not, not a chance in the world it’s gonna pass,” Wallace said.
Wallace said “there was a lot of political theater” as seen Thursday on the House floor. The Fox News anchor said he believes Democrats want to continue to approve bills that won’t pass because of the Senate so they can potentially unite in eliminating the filibuster.
“As you pass these bills and they make no progress because of Republican opposition, you put up the heat on people like Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema, Democratic holdouts on ending the filibuster,” Wallace said.
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