GOP congressman: Founders wouldn't want DC to be a state because it lacks an airport


Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) said the District of Columbia shouldn't be a state because the Founding Fathers would have wanted states to have airports and car dealerships.

Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) on Monday argued against granting Washington, D.C., statehood because, he says, the Founding Fathers didn't want states that didn't have airports, car dealerships, or garbage dumps — which he claimed the District doesn't have.

"Under this bill, D.C. would in fact become the first among states — which is exactly our founders sought to avoid," Hice said at a hearing on H.R. 51, which would make Washington, D.C., home to more than 700,000 residents, the 51st state. "D.C. would be the only state, the only state, without an airport, without a car dealership, without a capital city, without a landfill, without even a name on its own, and we can go on and on and on."

The argument that the Founding Fathers wouldn't want a state without a car dealership or airport is a questionable one, given that cars weren't even invented until the late 1880s and airplanes weren't invented until 1903 — more than 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

But on top of that, Hice's statements weren't totally true.

A quick Google search reveals that Washington, D.C., has multiple car dealerships, both for used cars as well as Teslas.

Hice's argument is part of Republicans' opposition to making the District of Columbia a state — which would grant the more than 705,000 people who reside in D.C. voting members of Congress.

At the heart of the issue is that Republicans do not want Democrats to gain two more U.S. senators and a voting member of the House. The District of Columbia is overwhelmingly Democratic these days.

Hice said as much in his screed against making D.C. a state.

"D.C. wants to keep all of these special perks, plus gain two more Democratic U.S. senators. This would effectively shift the power to the left-wing progressives so they can enact the radical left-wing agenda that Americans have rejected time and again," Hice said. However, a majority of Americans as recently as November voted to make a Democrat president, as well as giving them control of both the House and Senate — a far cry from rejecting the Democratic "agenda."

Hice is not the first Republican to make bizarre and offensive arguments about why the District of Columbia should not be granted statehood.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) said the people who reside in the District of Columbia are not "real people."

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said D.C. shouldn't be a state because the people who live there aren't "working class," as if that makes people more or less worthy of representation in Congress.

And Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) — who has been plagued by his own scandals, including for allegedly not reporting sexual assault — said D.C. has had too many scandals to become a state.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.