Republican Senator Criticizes Washington Officials, Says DC Would Not Be A “Complete Working-Class State

Senator Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonCruz urges Trump to support Israeli annexation Protesters try to tear down Andrew Jackson statue near White House Roberts sparks backlash from conservative senators with DACA ruling MORE (R-Ark.) Issued sharp criticism directed at Washington, DC city officials on Thursday during a speech against the District of Columbia’s bid for statehood.

The Arkansas Republican questioned the leadership of Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and former Mayor Marion Barry (D), who died in 2014, during a speech on the Senate floor.

“Would you trust Mayor Bowser to keep Washington safe if she were given the powers of a governor? Would you trust Marion Barry?” Cotton asked.

Bowser’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

He went on to state that the District, which has a population of 705,749, “has virtually no residents” and would result in “Donald and Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump signs an executive order aimed at improving the foster care system Melania Trump spokeswoman criticizes “inappropriate and callous comments” about Barron Trump Trump as host of the July 4 event despite lawmakers’ requests to cancel MORE“Have your own three Electoral College votes when you change your voter registration to Washington, DC

In another section of the speech, Cotton acknowledged that the city actually had more residents than some smaller states, such as Wyoming, but claimed that such states had “well-rounded” economies, while the District, it claimed, did not.

“Yes, Wyoming is smaller than Washington by population, but it has three times as many mining, logging, and construction workers, and 10 times as many manufacturing workers. In other words, Wyoming is a well-rounded working-class state,” he said. .

Those comments were reprimanded on social media, with many noting that almost half (49 percent, according to the 2017 census) of the District’s residents are African-American and suggested that Cotton’s “complete” comment was about racial makeup of Wyoming’s population, which is largely white. Others suggested that their criticism of Barry and Bowser, both black, also focused on their race.

The senator’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Democrats have supported the bill to grant statehood to the District in the House, where it is likely to pass, but the bill is unlikely to advance in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The White House has also threatened to veto the bill, calling it unconstitutional.