Speed Reads

d.c. statehood?

GOP Rep. Steve Scalise argues D.C.'s crime rate should disqualify it from statehood

In a memo obtained by Forbes on Wednesday, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) laid out why he believes Washington. D.C., should not become a state.

One of the reasons he used to back his argument is the city's crime rate, including a rising number of annual murders and carjackings. The local government "has failed to provide for the safety and well-being of its citizens," Scalise wrote. "Why should the District of Columbia be granted statehood when it can't even perform basic government duties like protecting governments from criminals?"

Scalise's choice to focus on crime may not have registered quite how he hoped, instead prompting observers to point out that Louisiana, his home state, has long reported the nation's highest murder rate, while New Orleans, parts of which Scalise represents, has also seen an uptick in crime. Tim O'Donnell