Full statehood for D.C. could arguably be achieved by an act of Congress by exercising the powers granted by Article Four, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, although there is some debate about whether the consent of Maryland would be required.
Two years later, in 1980, local citizens passed an initiative calling for a constitutional convention for a new state. In 1982, voters ratified the constitution of the state. Since that time, legislation to enact this proposed state constitution has routinely been introduced in Congress, but has never been passed.
"New Columbia" is the name of the proposed U.S. state that would be created by the admission of Washington, D.C. into the United States as the 51st state according to legislation offered starting in the 98th Congress in 1983 and routinely re-introduced in succeeding Congresses. The Congressional legislation was triggered by the provisional D.C. Statehood constitution that Washington, D.C. voters adopted in November 1982.
The campaign for statehood stalled after the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment failed in 1985 because it did not receive the required ratification by the legislatures of at least 38 of the 50 states within the required seven years of the amendment's submission by the 95th Congress. In 1987, another constitution was drafted, which again referred to the proposed state as New Columbia. The last serious debate on the issue in Congress took place in November 1993, when D.C. statehood was defeated in the House of Representatives by a vote of 277 to 153.
Although the proposal for statehood, via either legislation or constitutional amendment, has yet to be approved by Congress—typically receiving little attention each term that it is presented—the name "New Columbia" is a part of the statehood movement in the District of Columbia.
Other suggestions include allowing voting rights in the House of Representatives, but not in the Senate, to reflect what some view as the uniquely non-state status of the District. This proposal for a District of Columbia vote in the House of Representatives has been passed in the House, but has yet to be put to a vote on the floor of the Senate. This proposal has been cited for constitutional problems because the Constitution dictates that representation must come "from the several states," and since the District of Columbia is not a state the bill would be disputed in court.
Jackson Touts D.C. Statehood as National Goal;Rainbow Coalition Gathering Told Change Would Strengthen Progressive Cause in Congress
Nov 18, 1989; Jesse L. Jackson kicked off a major conference of his national political organization yesterday by vowing to make D.C. statehood...