(ConservativeHub.com) – On Wednesday, March 8, the US Senate overwhelmingly voted to halt the implementation of controversial new Washington, D.C. crime laws. The Senate vote of 81-14 came after the House voted to block it as well and President Joe Biden revealed he would sign the resolution.
The heavily debated crime bill would eliminate most mandatory minimum sentences and lower the maximum penalties for some offenses. However, these changes have been criticized by both Republicans and moderate Democrats. Last month, House lawmakers passed a resolution in an effort to stop the new D.C. criminal code from being implemented. The bill then passed through the Senate, where it received support from some Democrats.
The Washington, D.C., City Council sought to withdraw the bill after Biden revealed that he would sign the Republican-led resolution. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on Monday addressed the Senate and asked to withdraw the measure before a Republican vote could force it to be blocked. However, Senate Republicans claimed that Mendelson’s attempts had no point. According to The Hill, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) said called Mendelson’s move a “desperate, made-up maneuver.” He added that the Council would not be able to avoid accountability for its soft stance on crime.
A Senate leadership said that the Home Rule Act, which governs D.C., would not allow for legislation to be withdrawn and that the Senate would still be required to vote on it.
ABC News reported that after the Senate vote, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb slammed the decision as a violation of the “freedoms and principles” the US was founded upon. He claimed it was “careless” for the Senate to throw away the District’s local laws without “independent analysis, review, or alternative proposal.”
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