President Joe Biden will sign congressional Republicans’ resolution to terminate Washington, DC’s controversial soft-on-crime law if the Senate passes it in the coming weeks.
After meeting Thursday with Democrats on Capitol Hill, Biden said he would sign the Republican resolution to block a D.C. law that would reduce punishments for criminals, a move that puts the president at odds with the far left as the 2024 presidential election approaches. Biden has the option to veto the resolution, leaving the law intact.
“I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections – such as lowering penalties for carjackings,” Biden’s Twitter account said. “If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did – I’ll sign it.”
The Republican’s resolution has the support of at least one Democrat senator, Joe Manchin (D-WV), which leaves Republicans one vote short to pass the resolution with a simple majority. The resolution could be sent to Biden within weeks.
The district’s criminal law, which reduces punishments for a variety of serious criminal offenses, was enacted by D.C.’s city council, which overrode the mayor’s veto — all while crime increased at the beginning of 2023.
Biden’s potential hold of the law raises 2024 implications. He has said he has the “intention” to launch a reelection campaign for 2024, yet signing the measure would likely enrage the far left and put him at a disadvantage in any close general election. Blocking the bill might turn off the far left to the point where they might not vote.
Republicans have successfully and accurately cast the Democrat party as soft on crime. Political experts say Democrats lost many votes in 2020 and 2022 because of their soft-on-crime approach.
In 2023, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, homicides have dramatically increased (25 percent), along with vehicle theft (111 percent), theft from auto (21 percent), theft (16 percent), and arson (300 percent).
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.