Some House Democrats are in turmoil over President Joe Biden’s announcement that he will not veto a bill that would block changes to Washington DC’s criminal code – just days after his administration called the proposed violation of the “domicile rule”.
Biden announced the change Thursday after a meeting with Senate Democrats where he was asked about it. He cited a political dispute between DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city council.
But that hasn’t satisfied some members of his own party who are used to Republicans seeking to overturn local policy decisions but have relied on Democratic pledges to push the DC state and protect local decision-making authority.
“The White House royally fucks this,” a House Democrat told The Hill newspaper. The lawmaker told party leaders that Biden was ready to veto the disapproval resolution — which likely would have stopped the movement.
Some House Democratic lawmakers fumed after President Joe Biden announced he would sign a GOP-backed bill that would strike down a revised DC penal code. Democratic lawmakers say move violates self-governance principles — and note White House opposed bill when it was introduced in the House
Early last month, the White House Office of Management and Budget issued an administrative policy statement opposing the move, calling it a “denial of autonomy.”
But with Democrats on the defensive on crime issues, amid lackluster polls and the defeat of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a primary where crime was an issue, Biden chose not to be associated with a measure that would weaken certain criminal convictions.
“So many of us who are allies voted no in order to support what the White House wanted. And now we’re hanging out to dry,’ the lawmaker continued,’ the lawmaker said via text message. ‘F****** AMATEUR HOUR. HEADS SHOULD TURN BACK IN THE WHITE HOUSE OVER THIS.
Progressive team member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also criticized the turnaround.
‘It’s not that. DC has the right to govern itself, just like any other state or municipality. If the President supports DC statehood, he should govern like this,’ she wrote in a reprimand.
“Many places pass laws that the president may disagree with. He should respect DC’s people’s government like he does elsewhere,’ she said. added.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had vetoed penal code changes, only to be overturned by the city council
‘It’s not that. DC has the right to govern itself, just like any other state or municipality. If the President supports DC statehood, he should govern like this,’ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wrote in a reprimand
Biden’s decision to break with his party and the city over domestic rule comes amid growing concerns over crime
Biden tweeted about the move on Thursday
Of the. Eleanor Holmes Norton also blasted the move
The OMB Administrative Policy Statement tore up the resolution saying, “This taxation without representation and denial of self-government is an affront to the democratic values upon which our nation was founded.”
Many lawmakers suddenly learned of the reversal. A Senate bill moving the movement forward could be introduced next week.
‘I support DC’s statehood and internal rule – but I do not support some of the changes proposed by the DC Council over the mayor’s objections – such as reducing penalties for carjackings,’ a Biden tweeted after Senate Democrats confirmed Biden told them at a retirement party who would sign him if the chamber passed him.
“If the Senate votes to overturn what the DC Council did – I will sign it,” Biden wrote.
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-California) called the turnaround “disappointing.”
“It’s disappointing to me and anyone who believes in home rule, honestly. I’m the former mayor of a city of 70,000 people and I wouldn’t want the feds telling me what city ordinances to pass. … So I think it’s disappointing in that context.
“It’s smart politics. He was running into a buzzsaw,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.S.C., told reporters Thursday. “You don’t want to walk away from the DC mayor.”
DC delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who learned of the change after it broke at a press conference, said: ‘This is news for me, and I’m very disappointed with it, if he will not veto it.”
Le told the Washington Post, “I hope he keeps saying he’s going against it.”
Biden also angered fans in the state when it was reported that his presidential limo, known as “the Beast,” did not bear the city’s “Taxation Without Representation” logo.
The OMB Administrative Policy Statement stated, “For too long, the more than 700,000 residents of Washington, DC have been denied full representation in the United States Congress. This taxation without representation and this refusal of self-government is an affront to the democratic values on which our Nation was founded.
“As we work to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state in our Union, Congress must respect the autonomy of the District of Columbia to manage its own local affairs,” the OMB said.
There had been a clash in DC’s Democrat-dominated government.
Last year, city council approved amendments that removed some mandatory minimum sentences and reduced maximum penalties for robbery and burglary.
Bowser vetoed the plan but the board overruled his veto.
A total of 31 Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the measure to anticipate the new, under laws allowing Congress to intervene in the Federal District, which was established by the Constitution.