For two years in a row in Washington, D.C., there have been over 200 homicides, the highest city residents have seen in almost two decades.
The D.C. City Council’s answer? They passed a law that would give criminals reduced penalties for serious crimes like carjacking, assault, rape, and even some types of murder.
But there’s good news: the House kept its Commitment to America and the Senate followed its constitutional duty by voting to stop this soft-on-crime law from taking effect.
That’s why today Speaker Kevin McCarthy held a signing ceremony, with everyday Americans who are frustrated about the levels of crime in their neighborhoods, for Rep. Andrew Clyde’s House Joint Resolution 26, which the Speaker signed and is now being sent to President Biden for his signature.
Takeaways from their stories are below.
Speaker McCarthy: “This is just the beginning. We want everyone to feel secure to walk home. We want everyone to feel safe in the streets and neighborhoods. So we want you to join with us be a part of this resolution because it’s just the beginning. It’s our commitment.”
Patrick Yoes, National President, Fraternal Order of Police: “If we’re truly going to make an improvement in the criminal justice system, it’s going to be because everyone is working together to do so… these actions [by the D.C. City Council] that did not include rank-and-file police officer perspectives on any of it shows that it was a flawed process to start with.”
Mick McHale, President, National Association of Police Organizations: “The action Congress took to roll [D.C. Revised Criminal Codes] back so that the D.C. Council can work with the mayor, the police department, and the union to revise the criminal code in a way that no longer benefit violent criminals will make the city much safer.”
Gregg Pemberton, Chairman, D.C. Police Union: “This week 81 United States Senators joined the House and made a bold step forward to reduce rhetoric and restore justice for victims of crime in our nation’s capital… The bill from the D.C. City Council went too far and sent the wrong message to violent criminals.”
Will Dixon: “Another man got out of the driver’s seat and he put the barrel of his gun on my chest… the police who arrived on the scene told us the man who robbed us did the same thing to three or four other people in Navy Yard that same night… unfortunately, nearly 5 months later, the men who did this have not been found. Under the D.C. City Council’s proposal, the punishment for these men would be drastically reduced.”