CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 5493 on Wednesday, December 15, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 5493 was introduced on June 9, 2010, by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and referred to the Committee on House Administration, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by voice vote on July 22, 2010.
H.R. 5493 would authorize the president to invite the District of Columbia to provide two statues of “illustrious” and deceased D.C. citizens for display in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. The bill would require D.C. to pay any costs of providing and furnishing the statue. In addition, no statue of any individual may be placed in Statuary Hall until 10 years after the date of the individual's death. Finally, the bill would specify procedures by which D.C. could replace statues displayed in Statuary Hall as it deemed fit.
According to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol is comprised of statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history. The entire collection now consists of 100 statues—two each contributed by all 50 states. Washington, D.C., however, is not a state. When ratified in 1789, the Constitution provided for the creation and governance of a permanent home for the national government. Article I, Section 8, Clause 17, called for the creation of a federal district to serve as the permanent seat of the new national government. Thus, Washington, D.C. is a federal district under the control of Congress. Other non-state U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, are not represented by statues in the Capitol. Thus, D.C. would be the first non-state to be authorized to place statues of famous residents inside Statuary Hall.
According to CBO, enacting H.R. 5493 would have no significant impact on the federal budget.