Housing Complex

The World According to Gohmert

So Rep. Louie "Aspersions on My Asparagus" Gohmert (R-Texas) has introduced another D.C. retrocession bill. These things come up pretty regularly in Congress; this one, the District of Columbia-Maryland Reunion Act, would give the District back to Maryland, with the exception of a National Capital Service Area, which would remain under the jurisdiction of Congress.

The measure is unlikely to pass: As D.C. Shadow Senator Paul Strauss told HuffPost DC, "The two problems with retrocession are, one, we don't want to go; two, they don't want us back."

But let's humor the distinguished gentleman from Texas for a moment and consult a map of what the District Currently Known as Columbia would look like under his vision—if for no other reason than that I took the time to make it.

No thanks, Mr. Gohmert.

  • Tom M

    I'm willing to be a voting resident of Maryland and elect a member (or two) to congress (with VOTES!) and two senators.

  • rsn

    if they want to take the federal core, they sure as hell better take the cluster-fuck that is l'enfant.

  • NE John

    fuck that goober

  • Barney Rubble

    We keep the ballpark. Done!

  • paula

    And the rationale for this proposal is...what?

  • Andy K.

    This is a great idea that need not be mocked. DC should be a city in Maryland, just like Baltimore. DC residents would still have their mayor and city council PLUS all the Maryland state agencies and a vote for Maryland Senators. I don't see any problems with that.

  • Petworth Matt

    Can we just succeed and claim statehood or sovereign territory status? One day maybe we'll get a mayor willing to do radical things to force and end to the congressional oversight impasse that has been going on far too long...

  • Petworth Matt


  • Nick

    I would like to see the reunification of Arlington with DC. I have no interest in living in Maryland.

  • https://www.facebook.com/DJDarylNorthrop Daryl

    Hmmmm...why does Virginia get to keep the Pentagon?

  • name

    This just shows how hollow DC politician's argument for "representation" is.

    It's not about representation, it's about power.

    Retrocession would give residents representation; statehood would give them access to $$ and with $$ comes power.

  • http://randomduck.com randomduck

    Frankly, I don't have a problem with this. Retrocession is a much more realistic outcome for The District than full statehood (unless the statehood gang starts to push for a city-state model, though their "Einstein-model insanity" approach has blocked such creative thinking and continues to do so).

  • Bob


    I don't know how you think that DC statehood would give residents access to money. It likely would be a financially losing proposition for DC residents -- at least DC taxpayers. We would likely lose certain direct Federal aid. We would have to fund the entire cost of our local justice system (prosecutors and courts), which -- let's face it -- is no small expense. Other costs of local government would likely balloon, as DC politicians rush to create "state" and "city" functions that could be duplicative. Local congressmen would be unlikely to agree to any statehood bill that allowed DC to impose a commuter tax on out-of-state residents. And even if they did, suburban jurisdictions would levy taxes on DC residents who tend to earn sizable salaries working for tech and consulting companies in the 'burbs, which would partially offset any enhanced taxation by DC.

    Bottom line is that in a state of DC, the cost but not quality of local services is likely to go up. And it's probably all academic, anyway. There's no way that Congress is likely to consider statehood for at least 25 years after Mayor-for-Life Barry has become Mayor-for-Eternal-Life.

  • Tom M.

    There is no prospect for and a snow balls chance in hell that statehood will be granted to DC. At BEST, some day far in the future DC might be granted a voting rep in congress. I'm perfectly fine becoming part of Maryland. I would rather NOT be a Virginian. But I could get behind it if our voting block helped push the state from purple to blue on a consistent basis....

  • Nick

    DC is wealthier than Maryland. They just want our tax dollars.

  • Tom M.

    "Shadow Senator"!!! Not recognized by the Senate with either staff,the authority to speak on the floor in debate, office space, pay, or other official recognition. Costs are paid by DC taxpayers. It is a "pretend" office. Why doesn't the rest of the country take DC's plea for better treatment seriously? Partly because of how DC acts and this kind of playing around.

  • drez

    Virginia has tax reciprocity with MD but not DC. So workers who live in VA pay taxes in VA. If the Downtown is receded to MD, Richmond would loose those dollars. They'll not like this very much.

  • Richard

    Sorry, haters. Retrocession is the best and easiest solution to the District's electoral representation problem.

  • Rachel

    Dude, I'd become part of Maryland. Just don't give us to VA.

  • dc only

    We ain't going nowhere. MD is screwed up with there tax structure and VA is just screwed up. DC needs to have an opportunity to do what is in the best interst of all its citzens. And by the way, other states screw things up so don't say DC could not represent itself. If South Carolina can be a state so can DC

  • NE John

    I don't care what Virginia likes and doesn't like. Virginia can kiss my ass. And fuck Louie Goober Gohmert. He said at one time that he represents the citizens of DC. I went to his webpage to petition his services on my behalf as a federal taxpaying citizen, entered my zip code in the auto menu, and was denied entry. Fuck him!

  • Corky

    If you think DC taxes are bad, wait until you become a Maryland Resident. The property taxes are insane and then DC residents will have to contend with right wing republicans from bumblfuk parts of Maryland like Garrett County, Cecil County and the Eastern Shore. I was raised in Maryland. Trust me, you are better off with no representation in DC than to be represented by the Republican Goobers and bought and paid for Democrats in MD.

  • StatehoodSchmatehood

    "The two problems with retrocession are, one, we don't want to go; two, they don't want us back."

    Because nothing is a better argument for statehood than "We're such an economic and political basket case that no other state wants us."

  • 202_cyclist

    I would prefer DC to become a state rather than part of Maryland but this proposal isn't so bad. Through population growth by adding 630,000 residents, Maryland would likely gain an additionally House seat after the next Census. Additionally, through adding all of the new Democrats living in DC, Republican Andy Harris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_P._Harris)would very likely be voted out of office. This means two more Democrats in Congress. The previous proposal last decade would have granted DC a voting member of Congress and also given Utah a likely Republican seat, canceling each other out.

  • 202_cyclist


  • cminus

    @StatehoodSchmatehood, the word from people I know in Annapolis isn't that they don't want DC for reasons of economy or culture -- in either respect, DC would actually be an asset to Maryland -- but that it would upset the regional balance between Baltimore and the DC suburbs. If DC became a part of Maryland, a lot of political careers founded on paying careful attention to Baltimore's concerns might become a lot shorter, and a lot of lobbyists who have become rich from cultivating those careers would have to start all over again.

    (It would also be the final nail in the coffin of the Maryland GOP, although that's actually something of a point in the proposal's favor to a majority in the statehouse.)

  • tntdc

    As Maryland becomes the first majority African-American state, DC would probably be whiter in the near future.

  • David C

    I'd drawn the lines differently, but I say we call his bluff. Of course, it would probably require a constitutional amendment to remove DC's 3 existing Electoral College votes.

  • Pete

    As always, Cminus nails it (from the Maryland POV). And unsurprisingly it's about money and power outside of the political process. NOT representation.

  • Nick C

    I'm a DC resident and completely support retrocession to Maryland. Echoing many other commenters, it's the most rational option and actually has precedent (see: retrocession of Alexandria County to Virginia).

    As Cminus mentions, the more tangling issue here is the balance of power between Baltimore and what would be the rechristened city of Washington, Maryland. Baltimoreans would (understandably) hate to lose the largest-city crown (and with it, influence).

    As Pete says, though, that's what this ends up being about: power and money, NOT representation. If it was just about representation, Washington would have been given back to Maryland centuries ago.

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  • Rich

    How about this: as a federal republic, the capital of the US should remain separate from the states. And while we're at it, let's retro-retrocede Arlington and Alexandria back to DC. (Most Virginians don't want them, anyway.) DC as a perfect square again would look pretty.

  • Anon2


    The Va Democratic party certainly wants them. Losing arlington and alexandria will put Va back in the GOP column for a long time. So the national Dems also want Va to have them.

  • EliJ

    It seems to me the real issue here is at least twofold: (1) giving DC greater autonomy/self-governance and (2) representation in Congress. Retrocession into MD give us not only House representation, but also Senate representation. With regard to autonomy/self governance, it does trade the federal govt for the MD state govt, but DC residents would have eons more capacity to affect change in Annapolis than on the Hill. And retrocession strikes me as far more plausible and palatable to Hill decision-makers than statehood.
    Statehood may be the most desirable option, but if it is also the least plausible one, than perfection should not be the enemy of good here. And pushing for DC to get any form of Senate representation short of retrocession seems delusional. Maybe someday in a distant future, but in the meantime, DC continues unrepresented and under the thumb of Congress. All for what is now a pipe dream of statehood. We should at least engage the retrocession discussion to craft something agreeable to DC/MD and Congress. At the very least we can get a picture of what all parties are looking for and get all the cards on the table.

  • ceefer

    Want to make part of Maryland?

    Get ready to lose the height limits, take down the red light cameras, and say goodbye to revenue-enhancement speed cameras (Maryland only allows them near schools and in work zones).

    And bicyclists will definitely have to wear helmets and learn to accept the fact that they don't own the roads in Maryland.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • ceefer

    Should read: "Want to make DC part of Maryland?"

  • DC Guy

    I vote for territory status, and no federal taxation.

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