The U.S. House on Thursday passed a resolution of disapproval to block the Washington, D.C., Council’s Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022, which would lower penalties for a number of violent criminal offenses.
The Daily Caller first broke the news on the legislation on Feb. 2. The vote was 250-173.
Congress can exercise authority over D.C. local affairs, according to the District Clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17), and Congress reviews all D.C. legislation before it can become law. Congress can change or even overturn D.C. legislation and can impose new laws on the district.
In November 2022, the D.C. Council approved the Revised Criminal Code Act (RCCA). The RCCA reduces penalties for certain violent criminal offenses, including carjackings, robberies, and homicides. Democratic Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed the bill on Jan. 4. The council then overrode Bowser’s veto Jan. 17 by a vote of 12-1.
“This is a major first step for Congress in our fight to save our nation’s capital from being further plagued by violent crime. We have both a constitutional and moral obligation to take action against the D.C. Council’s Revised Criminal Code Act, which will undoubtedly embolden and incentivize criminals to continue terrorizing the streets of D.C.,” Republican Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, who introduced the resolution, told the Caller immediately after the vote.
“I’m encouraged that we passed my commonsense resolution with bipartisan support, and I urge the Senate to swiftly follow suit so we can ensure all Americans can safely enjoy our nation’s capital city,” Clyde added.
The bill must go through a 60-day review process in Congress. During this time, each chamber can pass a resolution of disapproval to block the measure. If the bill does receive congressional approval, D.C. would begin phasing in the new criminal code in 2025. The estimated cost is around $50 million. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Republicans, Kevin McCarthy Plan November Surprise For DC Mayor Bowser)
READ THE RESOLUTION HERE:
(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers
The bill will need bipartisan support to stop the crime bill. After passing the House, the resolution would need to receive the support of a simple majority in the Senate and President Joe Biden’s signature. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House, Senate GOP To Start ‘DC Home Rule’ Vote To Block District’s New Crime Law)
Violent crime in D.C. surged throughout 2021. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) data shows that the number of homicides increased 19 percent in 2020 and remained constant into 2021, the Washingtonian reported. Carjackings have tripled since 2019. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Republicans Demand Mayor Bowser Provide Plan To Address Rampant Violent Crime In Nation’s Capital)
In March, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Bowser calling on her to provide them with a plan for how she will address the rampant violent crime in the nation’s capital.
The Caller first obtained the March letter spearheaded by ranking member Rep. James Comer of Kentucky and signed by all Republicans on the committee. In the letter, the lawmakers criticized Bowser and D.C. Democrats for cutting the budget for the MPD.
The House resolution had 19 original cosponsors: Reps. Rick Allen, Austin Scott and Buddy Carter of Georgia; Brian Babin, Dan Crenshaw, August Pfluger and Keith Self of Texas; Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Ben Cline and Bob Good of Virginia, James Comer of Kentucky, Scott Franklin of Florida, Mike Garcia of California, Mark Green of Tennessee, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Gary Palmer of Alabama, Joe Wilson of South Carolina and Ryan Zinke of Montana.