Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday called for a citywide vote in November to make the nation's capital the 51st U.S. state, the Washington Post reported.
Bowser, speaking at an event that included residents and some Democratic members of Congress, called for a ballot measure that, if passed, would also give Washington a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, the Post said.
A push for statehood would follow a process modeled on the admission of Tennessee as the 16th state, the Post said, citing aides to Bowser. Tennessee, a federal territory like the nation's capital, was admitted under a plan that required the territory's residents to approve a state constitution and form a republic-style government, the Post said, adding that admission had otherwise involved ratification by existing states.
Bowser's announcement could heighten tension between the city's Democratic majority and Republican-controlled Congress, according to the Post.
The District is challenging Congress over its authority to approve city spending, with Bowser and the city council planning for a $13 billion spending plan without a congressional appropriation for the first time since the nation's founding, the Post reported.