The D.C. mayor is there as Congress intervenes in criminal law

The D.C. mayor is there as Congress intervenes in criminal law.

After Thursday’s approval of controversial reforms to the criminal code, Congress is now closer to repealing a D.C. statute for the first time since 1991. And Mayor Muriel Bowser may be okay with this.

Why it matters: 31 Democrats joined the GOP-led effort against criminal code reform. This reduces certain maximum penalties for violent crime. This was an unexpected bipartisan intervention in local affairs during heightened Republican pressures on the District.

The intrigue: Although Bowser publicly stated that she opposed Congress meddling in District affairs, her office didn’t try to lobby Congressmen to stop them.

  • Bowser was a vocal critic for the D.C. Council’s reforms. He vetoed the legislation last month but failed to do so again. Recently, he proposed changes to sections that would allow jury trials for misdemeanors to be expanded and sentence reductions.

A source familiar with Bowser’s thinking stated that “it is not up to her to lobby for something in which she does not believe.”

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State of play: Republicans are using crime around Capitol Hill and throughout the city more often as a reason to intervene in D.C.

Angie Craig from Minnesota was one of the Democrats that joined Republicans. She was attacked in the elevator of her Northeast apartment building hours before the vote, according to her office, and a D.C. Police report.

  • According to the report, a man punched her in her face and grabbed her neck. She escaped by throwing her cup of coffee at the attacker. It is believed that the attack was not politically motivated. On Thursday night, Kendrick Hamlin (26 years old) was arrested by D.C. Police and charged with simple assault.
  • Craig Chief of Staff Nick Coe stated that the representative was “grateful for the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s quick response.”

The D.C. mayor is there as Congress intervenes in criminal law

They’re saying this: “I’m very encouraged by the support of 31 of my Democrat peers for my common sense resolution,” stated Rep. Andrew Clyde, (R-Ga.), who is also drafting a bill that would repeal D.C.’s self-governance.

Interlinear: The recent history of local autonomy has seen a new low in bipartisan support for D.C. laws being overturned.

Also, the House voted to repeal a bill that gave non-citizen residents the right of vote in D.C. elections. This action was supported by 42 Democrats, including Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

  • She was the only member of either the Maryland or Virginia congressional delegations to vote for one of the GOP-led interventions.

Next: The Senate must approve the House’s actions and President Biden would have to sign it into effect. Already, the White House has stated that it is opposed to the House’s actions.


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