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1950, 02 Mar 23

Biden Signals Willingness to Nullify D.C.’s Laws

This is a positive step.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday he is willing to sign a Republican-sponsored resolution blocking new District of Columbia laws that would overhaul how the nation’s capital prosecutes and punishes crime.


In doing so, the president would be allowing Congress to nullify the city’s laws for the first time in more than three decades. Biden’s willingness to do so, despite earlier opposition from his White House, is linked to growing concern over rising crime both in the nation’s capital and across the U.S. and comes amid relentless criticism from Republicans.


“One thing the president believes in is making sure that the streets in America and communities across the country are safe,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “That includes D.C.”


The district lacks the same rights that states have to make and amend laws. While Congress has allowed the city’s residents some powers of “home rule,” it has retained veto powers over district government actions. District residents also do not have voting members of Congress.




The revisions passed the D.C. Council late last year would do away with mandatory minimum sentences for many crimes and expand jury trials for lower-level charges. The changes also would reduce the maximum penalties for burglary, carjacking and robbery.


House Republicans voted 250-173 to overturn the rewrite of the criminal code.


They have also acted to overturn a new D.C. law that would allow noncitizens the right to vote. Biden is also expected to let that override go through.


1950, 02 March 2023


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