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Eleanor Holmes Norton champions D.C. statehood with recess

June 6, 2019

D.C. congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton took one of her colleagues, Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly, to school Tuesday.

The issue? D.C. statehood.

The lesson came after Mr. Connolly, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, excused himself from a hearing on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The acting inspector general, Norbert Vint, was about to deliver his testimony. But Mr. Connolly interrupted, saying he had to get to the House floor to vote. He then said Mrs. Norton, a fellow Democrat, would chair the hearing.

Mr. Connolly’s actions didn’t sit well with Mrs. Norton and she explained why.

“For the record, a vote is taking place on the house floor,” she said, but “not until the District of Columbia that pays more federal taxes per capita than many Americans gets its full vote this committee will not have the efficiency of having me in charge.”

Mrs. Norton thanked Mr. Vint, called a recess of the hearing, and punctuated her comments with a chuckle.

As the city’s staunchest elected D.C. statehood backer, Mrs. Norton, first elected to the House in 1990, can vote in committee but not on the floor of the House.

Said a source close to the committee: “On the exact anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, Chairman Connolly took advantage of the District’s lack of representation in Congress.”

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