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Washington, D.C. Admission Act

Floor Speech

Date: June 26, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, it is amazing to hear people that have been trained in the Constitution disregard it so. But we are taught at law school the ability to rationalize absolutely anything. But the fact is, Article I, Section 8, there is not one of the 37 States that have been brought in by Congress that is addressed in the Constitution like this district is. And it says specifically--this is the right of Congress-- ``To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding 10 miles square)''--that is this one--``as may, by cession of particular States and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of Government of the United States.''

And if you go back and look at Federalist Paper 43, you look at the debate at the time, they understood. We have had the capital in New York City. We have had it in Philadelphia. And that is dangerous. Because it means if you are surrounded by a State and the capital is part of that State or in the middle surrounded by the State, then pressure can be brought to bear that would be so unfair. Look at the debate. That is why that is in there, to protect that.

Mr. Speaker, now, one of the things that we agree on is that it is wrong to make the residents of the District of Columbia pay income tax. I have been filing a bill since 2008, I think it was, that would eliminate the Federal tax. None of the territories--who also don't have full voting Members of Congress--pay Federal income tax. D.C. shouldn't either. That is a legislative fix we can do.

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