Congress Should Override DC Gov’t To Curb City’s Crime Wave, Mike Lee Says

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee tweeted Tuesday that Congress should override the government of Washington, D.C., to combat crime in the capital after a Democratic lawmaker was carjacked Monday night.

“Time to invoke Article I, Section 8, Clause 17,” Lee posted.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution, also known as the “Enclave Clause,” states that “Congress shall have the sole and exclusive government of what is called the federal city, a place not exceeding ten miles square.” While this clause does not “exclude the operations of local government” in the capital — which comprises a mayor and a 13-member council under the 1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act — Congress still “retains the authority to undo acts of D.C.’s government,” to alter its form or even to abolish it altogether, Lee explained in a YouTube video.

Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar was reportedly carjacked at gunpoint outside his residence in D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood at around 9:30 p.m. Three suspects allegedly drove off in Cuellar’s car after threatening the congressman with a firearm while he was attempting to park.

“My friend, @RepCuellar (D. TX), became a victim the victim of a crime tonight in what’s considered a nice part of D.C.,” Lee tweeted. “D.C. is dangerous. Something’s gone terribly wrong here — for far too long. Congress has the sole power to make D.C.’s laws, and must intervene.” (RELATED: DC Police Arrest Teenager After He Allegedly Committed String Of 10 Armed Carjackings, Robberies)

Carjackings in D.C. have been on the rise since 2018, according to Axios. There were 485 reported carjackings in the nation’s capital in 2022 compared to 148 incidents in 2018.

“Fifty years of DC home rule have not proven that experiment—which was itself a significant departure from the Constitution—to be worthwhile,” Lee in another tweet. “DC is unsafe. Congress is to blame.”