Montana Senator Tester Still Backing Statehood for DC
This is the easiest way to sum it up for you: It would weaken Montana, and strengthen Washington, DC.
Montana may not get additional representation in Congress following the Census, but if Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) gets his way, Washington, DC will have even greater power in the Senate.
Senator Tester is still backing statehood for DC, as Congressional Democrats pressed forward this week on a hearing regarding DC statehood. As KULR8 TV reports:
KULR-8 also notes that both Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and Congressman Matt Rosendale (R-MT) oppose DC statehood.
The Huffington Post first reported back in June that Tester is backing a D.C. statehood bill that would grant statehood to the District of Columbia. That would also give D.C. two voting members in the US Senate and in the US House of Representatives, effectively weakening Montana's power in Congress.
According to The Huffington Post:
Stabenow, Peters and Tester co-sponsored the bill on Monday. Peters support is notable, given that he is ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the panel that would first consider the statehood bill in the chamber. If Democrats win control of the Senate in November, he presumably would become the chairman.
This news came as The Montana Free Press also reported that Montana may be unlikely to gain a second seat in Congress due to lagging responses in the current Census:
Members of the commission tasked with redrawing Montana’s legislative boundaries following the 2020 census expressed frustration over the state’s dragging response rate in Native communities and other rural areas June 10, citing complications from the COVID-19 pandemic that have disrupted get-out-the-count efforts.
Since our first report published last summer, Montana redistricting officials have become increasingly optimistic that Montana could get a second seat in the House. A decision could come down next month.
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