Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib said Thursday she wants to display an altered American flag with 51 – instead of 50 – stars outside her congressional office to demonstrate support for making the District of Columbia a state.
The comments came during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on a longshot Democratic bill–which faces resistance from Republicans–to make the District of Columbia the country’s 51st state. Ahead of the hearing, the city of D.C. ordered and displayed 140 American flags with the extra star.
Tlaib told Mayor Muriel Bowser during the hearing, “I would love one. I would love to hang it outside of my office.”
Bowser replied, “Yes, got it.”
The mayor explained the reasoning for the flag.
“We revere our flag,” she said. “And we think it’s more perfect when every taxpaying American is represented on that flag.”
The D.C. statehood bill has more than 200 co-sponsors and the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, both Democrats. No Republicans in Congress have signed on to the legislation, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won’t bring a D.C. statehood bill for a vote.
The bill calls for districtwide elections of two senators and one House representative. It says all district territory would be included in the new state, save for specific exclusions of federal buildings and monuments, such as the White House and the Capitol.
Democrats argued statehood is needed because D.C. residents lack adequate representation in Congress.
Republicans said the framers of the Constitution intended for the nation’s capital to be a federal district.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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