New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie left the door open Monday to supporting calls to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., but said that adding more voting members to Congress likely won’t help the body run any smoother.
Asked why the issue of D.C. voting rights has become so partisan, Mr. Christie, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, told a crowd at a “Problems Solver” conference hosted by No Labels, a nonprofit group, in New Hampshire that he has not given the issue much thought.
“But I will give you my initial gut reaction,” Mr. Christie said. “My initial gut reaction is I don’t think adding another person to Congress is going to help. I just don’t think fundamentally it will help or make an enormous difference.”
The Constitution established Washington, D.C., as a federal district with control belonging exclusively to Congress. Districts residents received the power to vote in presidential elections after the country ratified the 23rd amendment in 1961.
But the city does not having a voting member in the House or Senate. Instead, it elects a delegate to the House — though that person does not have a floor vote when the chamber is sitting as the whole House.
“I understand the philosophical argument you are making and I am not completely rejecting, but I have to be honest with you, I haven’t given it enough thought to give you a really thoughtful answer about it,” Mr. Christie said, promising to give a better answer during his next swing through the state next week.