Introduction of the Service Academies District of Columbia Equality Act

Floor Speech

Date: April 4, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. NORTON. Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Service Academies District of Columbia Equality Act, which would give the District of Columbia the same number of appointments and nominations to the U.S. service academies as states. Currently, each Member of the House and each senator is allocated five appointments to each service academy-- the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy--and each Member of the House and each senator is allowed 10 nominations for each appointment. Therefore, since D.C. has no senators, D.C. is deprived of 10 appointments and, assuming all appointments are vacant, 100 nominations to each service academy.

This bill would provide equality for D.C. residents who choose to serve their country by applying to a service academy. It is remarkable that D.C. residents volunteer to serve a country that denies them statehood, congressional voting rights and full home rule. District residents have fought in every American war, and our residents, who pay all federal taxes, including paying more federal taxes per capita than the residents of any state, deserve to have the same opportunity to attend our prestigious service academies as residents of the states.

The District's population (690,000) is larger than that of two states and is in line with the six states that have a population under one million. D.C. servicemembers have helped secure voting rights for people throughout the world, yet have always been denied those same rights when they returned home. District residents deserve equality at the service academies.

I urge my colleagues to support this important bill.