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GOP Witness Tells Congress That D.C. Doesn't Deserve Statehood Because They Display Yard Signs

Washington, D.C. has over 700 thousand residents—more than Vermont and Wyoming, yet it doesn't enjoy the benefits of statehood. Despite its residents paying federal income tax and being subject to the draft, it has no representative or Senators.

Knowing that the largely Democratic-leaning residents of D.C. would almost certainly add two Democratic Senators to the now-100 person ruling body, Republicans have long resisted the growing calls for D.C. statehood.

The District's nonvoting congressional Delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, recently introduced House Resolution 51, which would turn D.C. into Washington, Douglass Commonwealth—the nation's 51st state.

This past Monday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on the resolution, featuring testimony from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The hearing also featured Zack Smith—a legal fellow for the conservative Heritage Foundation—whose argument against D.C. statehood got attention for all the wrong reasons.

Watch below.

Smith argued that D.C. has unique representation in Congress, saying:

"There's no question that D.C. residents already impact the national debate. For the members here today, how many of you saw D.C. statehood yard signs or bumper stickers or banners on the way to this hearing today? I certainly did. Where else in the nation could such simple actions reach so many members of Congress?"

Smith claimed that the representation D.C. lacks in Congress is supplemented by their yard signs.

People didn't buy it.

The Heritage Foundation is a leading conservative think tank—but Smith's comments had some questioning that status.

H.R. 51 is likely to pass the House—as it did last year—but faces brutal odds in the Senate, where it would require 10 Republican votes.