was proposed last year by two Columbia University law professors, Jessica Bulman-Pozen and Olatunde Johnson.

Ms. Bulman-Pozen, who worked in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Obama administration, said that she thought the Supreme Court would hold that the existing bill was constitutional, but that she did not believe it was as “elegant” as bestowing those electoral votes on the winner of the popular vote.

“I don’t think it’s the best fit with the text,” she said of the bill’s current approach, adding, “Congress has other options it should consider — even if it hopes for repeal of the 23rd Amendment.”

But Mr. Pilon expressed skepticism about the proposed revision, too, arguing that it would undercut the spirit of the 23rd Amendment.

four lawmakers have not signed on, according to Mr. Carper’s office. Those four include Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who sits on the evenly divided committee responsible for processing the legislation.

Another, Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, recently told a radio show that he believed a constitutional amendment was needed to admit the District of Columbia as a state. He cited the history of debate over ways to give full representation to its residents, including comments by some prominent Democratic legal officials in the 1960s and 1970s.

Other Democrats, however, have pointed out that the context of those historical comments centered on proposals that were different than this era’s idea.

On the day of Mr. Manchin’s remarks, the district’s nonvoting representative and the chief sponsor of the bill in the House, Eleanor Holmes Norton, a delegate, issued a statement that sought to rebut the idea that amending the Constitution was necessary. As part of that argument, she raised the alternative approach that the Biden team has been privately urging.

“Congress could choose, for example, to award the electors to the winner of the Electoral College or the national popular vote to prevent the reduced federal district from controlling electoral votes,” she declared.

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