Republican Senator Mike Rounds from South Dakota got dragged on Twitter after making a statement against House Democrats' bill that would admit Washington D.C. as the 51st state.
The two political parties clashed over a proposal, known as the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, that was introduced in January by Democratic House Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The bill would allow for the admission of a new state, called Washington, Douglass Commonwealth – which would be represented by two senators and one voting member of Congress.
House Democrats – who are in favor of the bill – argued that Washingtonians are treated as "second-class citizens," while House Republicans accused Democrats of pushing for the legislation to seek political gain.
On Monday, Senator Rounds tweeted:
"The Founding Fathers never intended for Washington D.C. to be a state."
"#DCStatehood is really about packing the Senate with Democrats in order to pass a left-wing agenda."
The Founding Fathers never intended for Washington D.C. to be a state. #DCStatehood is really about packing the Se… https://t.co/2LJNCrPi5w— Senator Mike Rounds (@Senator Mike Rounds) 1616450266.0
The Senator's claim came as Congress is set to debate over bids for the District of Columbia's statehood.
But given the history of Rounds' home state, his statement backfired on social media.
Many people were quick to point out the Founders never sought statehood for two Dakotas either – much less, one.
Prior to being split and admitted to the union as North and South Dakota, the formerly incorporated territory was known as the Dakota Territory.
One reason the U.S. territory was split into two states was that Republicans passed the Enabling Act of 1889 so they could acquire two more Senate seats – one of which is currently occupied by Rounds.
Class was in session on Twitter – where Rounds was schooled for his ignorance of his home state's history.
@SenatorRounds Says the guy from Dakota Territory; oops, territory divided into two only to get around the Constitu… https://t.co/1jQMHyIhZc— Norman Ornstein (@Norman Ornstein) 1616460519.0
Nobody tell him about South Dakota https://t.co/JiUwABJK9K— danielle (@danielle) 1616471674.0
@SenatorRounds Do you need a little history lesson as to why South Dakota became a state Mike?— Clark (@Clark) 1616451475.0
The Dakotas were originally one territory. Maybe we should go back to that. A combined state would have less than o… https://t.co/s5LUWCQNMf— David Corn (@David Corn) 1616471619.0
The founding fathers never intended for two Dakotas or even one. https://t.co/HKSoujtcDL— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@Molly Jong-Fast🏡) 1616467646.0
@SenatorRounds The Founding Fathers didn’t conceive of a lot of things that’s why they provided a mechanism for cha… https://t.co/5h8Clr8Ey9— Rachel Vindman (@Rachel Vindman) 1616511129.0
The Founding Fathers never intended for women to be allowed to vote either, and yet here we are. https://t.co/nxa1ynok0h— Charles #GetCovered-ba (@Charles #GetCovered-ba) 1616469954.0
@SenatorRounds Imagine being the senator from South Dakota — exhibit A in “creating a state to pack the Senate” — a… https://t.co/gf7InH1rIB— Kevin M. Kruse (@Kevin M. Kruse) 1616497939.0
They also never intended for black people to be counted as citizens or human beings, for women to vote and for anyo… https://t.co/iT7QtEOm9t— Jemele Hill (@Jemele Hill) 1616471018.0
People continued piling on criticism for Rounds for his selective knowledge.
@SenatorRounds This isn't very smart. Think about the 37 other states the Founders never considered. And think abou… https://t.co/jAn0KpwVGj— Victoria Brownworth (@Victoria Brownworth) 1616491009.0
@SenatorRounds Until this racist & ignorant statement I was turn on the issue, but now I fully back consolidating N… https://t.co/y9DRW8VYDb— David Rothschild (@David Rothschild) 1616473152.0
@SenatorRounds If DC voted Republican, you'd sing a different tune.— Tess in PDX (@Tess in PDX) 1616459503.0
One of the catalysts pushing for D.C.'s statehood was due to the Capitol riot on January 6.
Washington's status as a federal district instead of a territory prevented the city's top elected official to summon the National Guard to support the outnumbered police officers during the insurrection.
Only the President, secretary of defense, and secretary of the Army have the power to call up the D.C. National Guard.
Oversight Chairwoman Representative Carolyn Maloney – a member of the Democratic Party – told ABC News:
"The horrific events of Jan. 6th epitomized the need for D.C. statehood. Each of the 712,000 tax-paying D.C. residents deserve to have their voices heard in Congress and have elected officials with the ability to protect them from domestic terrorists, as happened on Jan. 6th when the D.C. Metropolitan Police and National Guard came to the assistance of the Capitol Police."