(CNSNews.com) – It’s now up to the Democrat-controlled Senate to block a soft-on-crime bill passed by the D.C. Council.
The House of Representatives passed a resolution of disapproval last month, and Republican Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) has introduced a similar resolution in the Senate. If both chambers vote to rescind the controversial D.C. law, the crime issue will end up on President Joe Biden’s desk.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) framed the debate this way, noting that crime in the nation’s capital is “out of control.”
“Democrats want to debate anything and everything besides violent crime itself, because the modern Democratic Party and its coalitions have decided it’s more important to have compassion for serial violent felons than for innocent citizens who just want to live their lives.
“That’s the issue here. A binary choice. Should we be softer on crime, like Democrats want, at the local, state, and federal levels? Or should we be tougher on crime, like Republicans and the American people want? That’s the debate.”
McConnell thanked Hagerty for introducing the resolution that would “nullify the D.C. Council’s insane, pro-criminal legislation and bring at least a ounce of common sense back to the American people’s federal city.”
In his floor speech, McConnell noted that Washington, D.C., already has had “about three dozen homicides in just the first two months of the year — a 35 percent increase over last year’s pace,” he said.
“There have been more than 1,300 thefts from autos — a 25 percent increase over last year’s pace. And more than 1,100 thefts of motor vehicles, including carjackings — more than doubling last year’s pace for a staggering 109 percent increase.”
With those numbers in mind, McConnell questioned why the D.C. Council would revise its criminal code, reducing penalties for some violent offenses and property crimes.
McConnell also questioned why Senate Democrats — who “steamroll localism and federalism in every way possible — are now suddenly indignant at the notion that Congress might toughen up penalties for violent criminals in D.C.”
At a time of deteriorating public safety, “Washington Democrats suddenly “pretend they’ve become small-government federalists and they want Congress out of the picture,” McConnell said.
All 49 Senate Republicans support Hagerty’s resolution of disapproval, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Tuesday that he supports it, too. That leaves the resolution one vote short of passage at the moment.
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