WASHINGTON — The long-dormant debate over statehood for the District of Columbia is about to be revived on Capitol Hill.

A Senate committee announced Monday that it will hold a hearing next week on a bill that would make the District the nation’s 51st state. Next Monday’s hearing will be the first on statehood for the nation’s capital in more than 20 years.

Advocates argue that only with statehood will the District’s 646,000 residents gain the same rights enjoyed by the rest of the U.S. population. Opponents say the nation’s founders intended for the city to remain a federal enclave.

The bill has the support of Senate Democrats including majority leader Harry Reid, but it’s not expected to go anywhere in the Republican-led House.

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