On Wednesday (March 8), the Senate blocked the D.C. crime bill 81-14 after many Republicans and Democrats expressed concerns that the bill would ease punishment in a city suffering from increased crime.
Only 14 Democrats objected to the resolution designed to reverse the D.C. law.
Although the resolution was a product of House Republicans, it received the support of most Senate Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Once President Joe Biden, who explained he doesn’t intend to veto the resolution, signs the bill, it will be the first time in more than three decades that Congress has rolled back D.C.’s self-regulation.
Touting the bipartisan support, Republicans noted Democrats, including the President, were forced to accept the resolution because they couldn’t ignore soaring crime in the nation’s Capital.
Before the Senate voted on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained that despite being “the greatest superpower nation,” the U.S. had a capital city that is a “danger and embarrassment” because of local leadership.
The Senate vote comes after House Democrats and Biden allies expressed frustration about the mixed messages coming from the White House regarding the resolution.
Last month, House Democrats voted against the resolution after Biden indicated he opposed it. But following the passage of the bill in the lower chamber — 31 Democrats joined Republicans to pass the bill — Biden said he wouldn’t veto the resolution if it landed on his desk.
McConnell referenced Biden’s flip-flopping, suggesting that “public pressure” forced the President to “sign the same Republican bill that he’d previously announced he opposed.”