A new bill would strengthen the District’s presence in Congress, giving the city another - stony - representative. The bill, introduced by Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-Calif.), would allow D.C. to place a statue in the Capitol along with the 50 states.
While each state has two statues of local personalities gracing the halls of Congress, D.C. and other territories like Puerto Rice would each get one. That compromise was introduced after a similar bill passed the House but never reached the Senate last year, the Washington Post reports.
Two statues depicting abolitionist Frederick Douglass and architect Pierre l'Enfant are already complete. They currently stand at One Judiciary Square.
“If we have someone here that's worthy to be in the capitol then we should put that person in there,” said resident Annette Bush.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) pushed for a bill that would have allowed two slots for District status, but the bill stalled in the House after a fight over D.C. gun rights, the Post reports.
“It goes with what D.C. is trying to do in terms of being recognized and getting congressional votes,” said resident Cara Pearson.
Republicans complained that giving the District two statues improperly equated the city with a state. They worried it could lead to more demands down the road.
“We should have the respect of a state, and we don't in many ways and that's one of them,” said resident Richard Shelton.
Another resident, Fernando Rivero, called it a distraction from the real issues, saying it glosses over the lack of voting rights for D.C.