President Biden might bring up the issue of Washington, D.C., statehood during his joint address to Congress on Wednesday evening, says D.C. Shadow U.S. Senator Paul Strauss.
"There's a good chance. I'm hopeful. The District of Columbia got one of those coveted seats on the floor there today. Our delegate in the House, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has been serving since 1990, will be present there, and the rest of the D.C. shadow congressional delegation will of course be watching and cheering them on and so we hope so," Strauss said during a video interview with Just the News hours before Biden’s address.
"President Clinton used to be a fairly regular mentioner of D.C. statehood when it came to State of the Union addresses. We didn't get that kind of support from President Obama, but we're hoping that President Biden, who has always been a strong supporter ... we're hoping it will get a mention," he also said.
The D.C. statehood bill passed out of the Democratic-led House recently but hasn't been voted on in the Democratic-led Senate.
Republicans such as Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert spoke out on the House floor against the legislation ahead of the House vote. Gohmert said Democrats won't sign onto his bill to allow D.C. residents not to pay federal income tax because it undercuts their push for D.C. statehood.
Strauss was asked for his response.
"We're not trying to get out of our obligations of citizenship," Strauss said. "We want the privileges and the rights that come with being a citizen. So no, nobody likes paying taxes. But we understand that's what you have to pay for a civilized society. We're not cheapskates, we're not trying to welch on our obligations to the American people."