John Oliver has a new version of the “50 States Song,” sung by adorable schoolchildren who want to know — quite explicitly — why Washington, D.C., is getting the shaft.
On HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” on Sunday, Oliver took a look at the long and strange history of our capital city’s rights and representation at the federal level. Or, more accurately, lack thereof.
Congress has final say over the city’s rules, regulations and budget and has blocked or interfered with everything from marijuana legalization to needle exchanges. While Washington does has a representative — Eleanor Holmes Norton – she’s not actually allowed to vote on key issues.
Or as Oliver said, “she basically has pretend power,” like a child watching “Dora the Explorer.”
“The people of D.C. clearly deserve a greater voice in their own affairs, and they’ve actually come tantalizingly close to getting a voting representative in Congress,” Oliver said. “In 2009, a bill to give D.C. a vote was introduced in the Senate, and the Senate did the most dickish thing imaginable: passing it, but with a little addition.”
That addition was an amendment that would have repealed all gun-control laws in the city. As a result, the bill was dropped, and D.C. still doesn’t have a vote.
Now, Oliver is calling for full statehood for Washington, D.C., and his plea comes in the form of an unforgettable tune.
Check it out in the clip above.
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