Senate overwhelmingly approves rebuke of DC crime bill that reduced sentences for violent crimes after it drew Democratic fury when the White House sided with Republicans
- The Senate overwhelmingly passed a GOP-led resolution Wednesday night to strike down a Washington, D.C., crime-fighting bill.
- Critics of the bill called it soft on crime amid rising crime rates in the nation’s capital.
- The majority of the Senate Democratic caucus sided with the Republicans, with a final vote of 81 to 14.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a GOP-led resolution Wednesday night to strike down a Washington, D.C. crime bill that critics called soft on crime amid rising crime rates in the US capital. the nation.
The majority of the Senate Democratic caucus sided with the Republicans, as the final tally was 81 to 14.
The vote came after the president of the DC City Council tried to withdraw the legislation on Monday lest he receive a rebuke from the Senate.
Several Senate Democrats pointed to this to excuse their votes.
“Both the city council president, who withdrew the legislation, and the mayor suggested that these changes to DC’s penal code are not ready for prime time,” said a pointed statement from Virginia Democratic senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.
“We will vote in favor of the disapproval resolution and urge the mayor and council to work together to create a safer city for everyone, including the many Virginians who commute to DC for work every day,” they added.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a GOP-led resolution Wednesday night to strike down a Washington, D.C., crime bill that critics called soft on crime amid soaring crime rates in the capital. of the nation
The Democrats who voted yes were following the lead of President Joe Biden.
Biden had signaled he would support the Republican bill to block the measure, even as his administration drew criticism for violating its own warnings about protecting home rule in the city.
The process had already begun when council president Phil Mendelson wrote to vice president Kamala Harris to try to get the bill out.
“Not only does the statute not allow for the withdrawal of a broadcast, but at this point the Senate Republican privileged motion will act on the House disapproval resolution, rather than the DC Council to Senate broadcast,” an aide said. Senate leadership, who told DailyMail.com: ‘We’re still waiting for the vote to happen.’
Voting wrapped up around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, wrapping up an episode that exposed a split in the Democratic Party over autonomy for Washington, DC.
Without statehood, the DC Home Rule Act allows Congress to revise city laws.
Mendelson said the council, which backed the combined changes to the penal code over the objections of Mayor Muriel Bowser, would amend the law and submit it to Congress later.
Mendelson suggested that Biden and congressional Democrats sided with the Republicans to signal that they were not soft on crime ahead of the 2024 general election.
D.C. Council President Phil Mendelson attempted to withdraw the bill from the Senate before a vote occurred Wednesday night. He suggested that President Joe Biden and the Democrats who voted to reprimand him were doing so so they could highlight toughness on crime in the 2024 ads.
Mendelson wrote to Vice President Harris in her role as Speaker of the Senate. Although it was not clear that she had the ability to stop a vote, what a leadership aide said was a privileged motion to act on a vote that had already occurred in the House.
“This is about next year’s campaign,” he said. “That’s what this is about, it’s about making videos that so-and-so senator voted to go soft on crime in the District of Columbia.”
Several House Democrats who voted against repealing the criminal law also expressed outrage at Biden.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had said that “if the bill reaches the president’s desk, he will sign it.”
At the same time, he said Biden continued to support DC statehood.
“He believes and has for some time that DC should be a fifty-first state,” he said. The measure “does not change that it encourages Congress to pass a bill making DC a state, and he will sign it.”
But he justified Biden’s move by saying the president cares about the safety of Americans.
“Something that the president believes in is making sure that America’s streets and communities across the country are safe,” Jean-Pierre said. ‘That includes DC’