The House on Thursday voted to pass a bill that would grant statehood to Washington, D.C., making it the 51st state.
Lawmakers voted 216 to 208 along party lines on H.R. 51, sending the legislation to the Senate.
This is the second time the House has approved D.C. statehood legislation, a longtime goal for the nation’s capital, but the matter faces an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate.
Washington, D.C., has a population of more than 700,000 but does not have representation in the House or Senate. Eleanor Holmes Norton serves as the non-voting delegate, and the District has three electoral votes.
Republicans have largely opposed D.C. statehood because it would most likely add more Democratic lawmakers to Congress, but the White House on Tuesday voiced support for the matter.
The bill seeks to admit the District “to the union on an equal footing with the other states,” with the mayor issuing “a proclamation for the first elections to Congress of two senators and one representative of the commonwealth.”
Additionally, the bill would cordon off federal buildings in the District, such as the White House and the Capitol along with the National Mall, allowing those places to remain under federal control.