EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Committee Invites DC Officials To Testify On DC Operations, Crime

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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The House Oversight Committee, led by Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer, has sent invitations to D.C. officials, calling on them to testify on “general oversight” of the nation’s capital, including crime, safety, and city management.

The Daily Caller first obtained the four letters Comer sent Wednesday. The letters were sent to Phil Mendelson, the Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, Greggory Pemberton, Chairman of the D.C. Police Union, Glen Lee, the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia and Charles Allen, a D.C. Councilmember for Ward 6.

“Congress has sent a clear message to the D.C. Council: it’s time to make our nation’s capital safe again. All Americans should feel safe in their capital city, but radical left-wing policies have led to a crime crisis and rampant homelessness. As the committee with jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, the Oversight Committee has a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of the policies that have plagued our capital city,” Comer said in a statement.

“To examine city management and operations, I have invited members of the D.C. Council, the Chief Financial Officer, and the head of the D.C. Police Union to testify at a hearing scheduled for March 29. I look forward to their cooperation and insight as we work to improve Washington, D.C. and hold its officials accountable,” Comer added.


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

This comes as the U.S. Senate passed a resolution of disapproval on March 8 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. (RELATED: Senate Passes Legislation To Block DC’s New Crime Law, Heads To Biden’s Desk For Signature)

The Daily Caller first broke the news on the legislation on Feb. 2. The vote was 81-14. A total of 33 Democrats voted with Republicans to pass the bill. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Reps. Clyde, Garbarino Introduce Joint Resolution To Block DC’s Anti-Cop Law, Endorsed By DC Police Union)

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. The legislation passed the House in February in a 250-173 vote. It was spearheaded by Clyde.

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. (RELATED: House Passes Legislation To Block DC’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% in 2020 and remained constant into 2021, the Washingtonian reported. Carjackings have tripled since 2019. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Republicans, Kevin McCarthy Plan November Surprise For DC Mayor Bowser)

In March of 2022, 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 Comer 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.