Two House committees took up measures long championed by progressives on Wednesday, signaling that congressional Democrats are willing to move forward with their priorities despite narrow majorities in the House and Senate. One panel voted to advance a bill to admit Washington, D.C., as a state, while the other took up a measure that would create a commission studying reparations for descendants of slaves.
The D.C. statehood bill considered by the House Oversight Committee is broadly popular among Democrats, with 215 cosponsors. An identical version of the bill passed the House last year, but stalled in the Senate, where then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring it to the floor for a vote.
After almost five hours of debate on multiple amendments brought by Republicans, the Oversight Committee voted to advance the bill by a vote of 25 to 19 along party lines. None of the amendments were accepted, and there will be a vote on the House floor next week.