Posted by on January 25, 2023 1:48 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

House Republicans seek to block DC criminal code overhaul

Washington DC, USA – April 12, 2015: Police vehicles stopping the traffic and closing a street in Washington DC (iStock photo)

House Republicans seek to block DC criminal code overhaul

Cami Mondeaux January 25, 01:24 PMJanuary 25, 01:24 PM Video Embed

House Republicans are reportedly planning to introduce a bill seeking to block the D.C. Council’s recent overhaul of the city’s criminal code, arguing that several of the provisions amount to “insanity.”

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) is leading efforts among House GOP members to block the bill’s enactment, criticizing the code reforms that include reducing penalties for some violent crimes, according to Axios. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) is planning to introduce an identical version in the Senate.


The legislation marks Clyde’s latest efforts to limit the D.C. government’s autonomy, as the Georgia Republican has previously pushed to repeal the city’s Home Rule that allows local lawmakers to pass their own laws. Clyde has long hinted at plans to eliminate that freedom, which would put the district entirely under congressional control.

The D.C. Council overwhelmingly approved a bill last year that would implement a massive overhaul of the city’s criminal code, completing a project district lawmakers have been working on for 16 years. The law is not set to take place for three years, giving law enforcement and court officials time to prepare.

The rewritten legislation sought to clarify and redefine penalties for criminal offenses, with several lawmakers arguing severe punishments often do not deter crime. Part of the rewrite included provisions that would eliminate most mandatory minimum sentences, establish jury trials for nearly all misdemeanor cases, and reduce the maximum penalties for crimes such as carjackings or robberies.

Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed the legislation in early January, arguing some of the provisions send “the wrong message” and weaken penalties at a time when the city is grappling with rising crime rates. City council members voted to override Bowser’s veto on Jan. 17, arguing the legislation was needed to replace the outdated criminal code.


Lawmakers responded to initial pushback of reduced sentences, arguing punishments for more severe crimes wouldn’t be reduced and that many of the newly proposed penalties lined up with how judges and juries have been ruling for years.

Although Clyde has support among House Republicans to overturn the revised criminal code, it’s unlikely his bill would make it through the Democratic-controlled Senate. In order to reverse a D.C. law, a resolution must pass through both chambers of Congress and be signed by the president.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

NewsRead More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *