TonelloPhotography/ShutterstockSay sayonara to the 50 stars on our grand old flag. If speculation can be believed, the United States of America could soon add two more brethren to its ranks. And no, it’s not Canada or Mexico.
Odds are, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico could soon claim statehood, OZY reports. The movement to make Washington, D.C. a state gained momentum in the spring of 2016, when 86 percent of D.C. voters approved a petition on the matter. The district later drafted a state constitution during a summer convention. Meanwhile, proponents also attended the Republican and Democratic national conventions to advocate for their cause.
“We’ve accomplished a lot in educating Americans around the country,” says Paul Strauss, the district’s two-term “shadow senator.” D.C.’s representatives may sit in Congress but do not vote.
Although the district’s population is bigger than Wyoming’s or Vermont’s, concerns regarding the legality of its statehood have since stalled its bid. The Constitution does require that the federal government preside in a non-state location, after all. (Surprised? Check out 50 more astonishing facts you never knew about the 50 states.)
However, D.C.’s statehood advocates might find an ally in Puerto Rico, the small island south of Cuba. Puerto Ricans have repeatedly indicated that they are ready to shed their status as a U.S. territory. In 2012, voters approved a resolution similar to D.C.’s, and last year, they elected a pro-statehood governor named Ricardo Rosselló. Just this past June, voters in Puerto Rico voted for statehood in a referendum.
Like D.C., though, Puerto Rico isn’t a perfect candidate. The island has a history of severe budget shortfalls, and its fiscal health must improve before the United States would consider granting it statehood.
Nevertheless, there’s some good news for the two potential states; the United States tends to expand in pairs, with the latest additions being Alaska and Hawaii. (The two youngest members are also the happiest states in America.) Until then, may the odds be ever in their favor.