WASHINGTON—Speaking out against H.R. 51, which has now cleared the House and made its way to the Senate, congressional Republicans argued Friday that granting Washington, D.C. statehood would be a slippery slope to the District one day becoming its own planet. “If the tiny District of Columbia is admitted as the 51st state, what’s to stop it from going on to ask for recognition as a sovereign country, continent, or planetary body?” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said in an impassioned plea to senators, warning them to stop the bill or risk emboldening D.C. to slowly grow more spherical and, before long, call for its release from Earth’s gravitational pull. “Sure, we could give in to the District’s demands for representation in Congress, but pretty soon it will expect its own orbital path around the sun—a blatant power grab for Democrats that would throw off the balance of the whole solar system. It was just a few years ago that we acknowledged Pluto wasn’t big enough to be a planet. Do we now want to grant that status to a town of less than 70 square miles? Please.” Mace went on to add that if Democrats succeeded in passing H.R. 51, there would be nothing left to stop California from spiraling into its own liberal galaxy.