President Joe Biden vetoed a Republican-led resolution to block Washington, D.C. City Council’s Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2022.
The legislation intends to reduce police power despite the rising crime rate in D.C. and historic staffing shortage of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The bill passed the House in an April 19 vote, and Republican Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance introduced the bill in the Senate on May 11.
Biden claimed the resolution would block “commonsense police reforms” in a statement following the veto.
“While I do not support every provision of the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022, this resolution from congressional Republicans would overturn commonsense police reforms such as: banning chokeholds; setting important restrictions on use of force and deadly force; improving access to body-worn camera recordings; and requiring officer training on de-escalation and use of force,” the president said.
We raised standards, banned chokeholds, restricted no-knock warrants, and tightened use-of-force policies to emphasize de-escalation and the duty to intervene to stop another officer from using executive force.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 25, 2023
The bill received the support of some congressional Democrats — 14 in the House and eight in the Senate. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire were among Senate Democrats to vote in favor of the bill. (RELATED: White House Adviser Attacks Tim Scott Over Police Reform)
Congress has the power to exercise authority over D.C. affairs, according to the District Clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17), giving it the authority to change or overturn the district’s laws.
The MPD has lost more than 1,100 officers since January 2020.
Vance said the president’s veto is a blow to the Metropolitan Police Department, saying they “deserve far better.”
“With today’s veto, President Bidenn rejected a bipartisan and commonsense effort to make our nation’s capital safer,” Vance said in a statement obtained by the Daily Caller. “The millions of Americans who visit Washington and the brave men and women of the DC Metropolitan Police Department deserve far better. It’s a shame they won’t get it from this administration.”