(DCWatchdog.com) – President Joe Biden sided with congressional Republicans by signing a bill that blocks a relaxed crime law adopted by the Council of the District of Columbia.
Biden has thus delivered on his declaration from early March that he wouldn’t veto the GOP-sponsored bill to hamper the new DC Council crime law, The Daily Caller reported.
The DC crime law in question – formally called the “Council’s Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022” – was passed by the DC Council last month.
The DC Council is presently made up of 11 Democrats and two independents.
Washington’s Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed the controversial legislation relaxing crime punishments.
Her veto was due to concerns from DC residents and “partners in the public safety and criminal justice community.” However, the councilors overrode it in a 12-1 vote.
The new DC criminal code provides for reducing penalties for certain violent criminal offenses such as robberies and carjackings.
The District of Columbia is overseen directly by the US government. The US Congress has the power to overturn any of its bills before they become law, as per the District Clause of the Constitution.
In February, Republicans in Congress launched a disapproval resolution to block the new DC crime law.
The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia and Sen. Bill Hagerty of Tennessee.
“The DC Council’s radical rewrite of the criminal code threatens the well-being of both Washingtonians and visitors — making our nation’s capital city a safe haven for violent criminals,” Rep. Andrew Clyde commented before The Daily Caller in February.
“In response to this dangerous and severely misguided measure, it’s now up to Congress to save our nation’s capital from itself,” the Republican US lawmaker elaborated.
The disapproval resolution on new DC’s new crime law was passed by the US House of Representatives on February 9 in a 250-173 vote and by the Senate on March 9 in an 81-14 vote.
Ahead of the Senate vote on March 2, President Joe Biden declared himself against the DC Council’s new crime law and in favor of the GOP-backed disapproval motion.
“If the Senate votes to overturn what DC Council did — I’ll sign it,” he said at the time.
The Democrat president declared further that he supposed “statehood and home rule” for the District of Columbia but did not support “lowering penalties for carjackings.”
“He’s putting the safety of the people of DC first,” Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters at the time.
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