Rep. Andrew Clyde said Thursday he filed a measure to “save our nation’s capital from itself” by blocking a D.C. crime overhaul that would decrease maximum penalties for certain gun crimes and offenses such as carjacking and robbery.
The Georgia Republican’s attempt to block the local law through a disapproval resolution follows a similar measure in the House and Senate to try and stop a D.C. plan that would let illegal immigrants vote in local elections.
Under the Constitution, members of Congress have the right to review and disapprove of laws approved by the D.C. government during a special review period.
The D.C. Council passed the crime overhaul against the wishes of Mayor Muriel Bowser, who vetoed the measure as she tries to rein in crime in the city. She said the bill went too far in reducing some penalties and she would like to see changes, but the council overrode her veto.
Now, Congress is stepping in — something neither the council nor the mayor wanted to see.
“In response to the D.C. Council‘s dangerous and severely misguided crime bill, it’s now up to Congress to save our nation’s capital from itself,” Mr. Clyde wrote on Twitter. “Today I introduced a resolution of disapproval to stop this insanity in its tracks.”
Republican efforts to block D.C. laws through disapproval resolutions rarely succeed, and the new effort is unlikely to break through.
The Senate is led by Democrats and President Biden would not sign off on Mr. Clyde’s measure.
However, the GOP might attach so-called legislative riders to must-pass bills to thwart D.C. measures. The idea is to force Democrats to swallow hard and accept the add-ons as a byproduct of getting the broader bill across the finish line.
Republicans have used this tactic in the past to prevent D.C. from setting up marijuana sales or using local funds for abortions.
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s non-voting member of Congress, has vowed to fight the House and Senate resolutions.
D.C. officials chafe at any kind of Capitol Hill meddling in their affairs and have lobbied for statehood to achieve greater autonomy.
Ms. Bowser and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson recently said their disagreements over the crime overhaul can be handled in-house without congressional interference.
• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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