In a town hall meeting July 21 to promote the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, President Barack Obama voiced support for D.C. statehood. In his response to the question asked about his stance on D.C. being the 51st state, Obama replied, “I’m in D.C. so I’m for it!

A local resident holds a sign in support of D.C. statehood.

“Folks in D.C. pay taxes like everybody else, they contribute to the overall well-being of the country like everybody else, and they should be treated like everybody else.”

Obama mentioned he has supported the long-running movement for quite some time, which will bring full voting rights and local control to D.C. residents. After winning his second term, Obama adorned his limousine with the “Taxation Without Representation,” license plate – a symbolic move premiered during his inauguration. He added, “The politics of it end up being difficult to get it through Congress, but I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do.”

Following Obama’s endorsement for the movement, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray championed the president’s support by sending out a tweet that thanked him for his support.

If Congress agreed on the bill currently pushed by Gray and city leaders, it would guarantee the District’s 646,500 residents a voting representation in Congress. According to an {Associated Press} article, skeptics of D.C. statehood have voiced concern that giving the District statehood would automatically add three Democrats to Congress – two senators and a representative – which would be a tough cookie for Republicans to chew on.