In recent news, President Joe Biden has indicated his support for a bipartisan bill that would overturn a D.C. law perceived to be soft on crime.
Despite this stance being inconsistent with the Democratic Party’s calls to defund the police, at least five Democratic senators, including Joe Manchin, Patty Murray, Bob Casey, Tammy Baldwin, and Mark Kelly, have committed to providing enough votes to Senate Republicans to pass the resolution.
The resolution, which is expected to be signed by Biden, has received backlash from some Democrats who view the law as a politically controversial but necessary step towards criminal justice reform.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton expressed her displeasure with the president for implying that he may be considering vetoing the bill due to the rising crime rate, calling it a “sad day for D.C. home rule and D.C. residents’ right to self-governance.”
It is important to note that while Congress had ceded some powers to the District over the years, the Constitution makes it clear that the House and Senate have the final say over what happens there in terms of governance.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also expressed frustration with Biden’s decision, stating that it would have been helpful if the president had given the House a heads up prior to indicating his support for the bill.
Despite these concerns, the backing of the Democratic resolution by at least some members is noteworthy, given the party’s soft-on-crime stance during the 2020 and 2022 elections.
With crime rates in the nation’s capital on the rise, this move by Biden and some Democratic senators to support a bill overturning a D.C. law perceived to be soft on crime is an important step towards restoring law and order in the city.
While there may be disagreements within the Democratic Party over this issue, it is clear that taking a hard-line stance on crime is necessary for the safety and security of all D.C. residents.