Senate Approves Legislation To Block DC’s Crime Law

( – The US Senate overwhelmingly voted on Wednesday to overturn the Washington, D.C., Council’s Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022, which was a District of Columbia law that pared back penalties for different violent crimes. This represents a significant blow for Democrats who have been supporting Washington statehood over the last few years, and the first time in almost four decades that a D.C.-passed legislation has been nixed by the White House and the Congress.

The Senate approved the measure 81-14, with 33 Democratic Senators voting alongside Arizona Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema and every Republican. Senate Democrats of every single stripe joined with GOP Senators, and even Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer backed the resolution. 

However, the No.2 Democrat in the Senate Dick Durbin voted “no,” along with other thirteen Democratic Senators voting against the measure. These were Ben Cardin, Jeff Merkley, Sheldon Whitehouse, Cory Booker, Peter Welch, Mazie Hirono, Tammy Duckworth, Chris Van Hollen, Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Jack Reed and Chris Murphy. In addition, Senators James Risch, Dianne Feinstein, Tom Carper, and John Fetterman were absent.

Back in January, The D.C. City Council unanimously passed the crime bill and rejected the veto made by Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, with a final result of 12-1. The crime bill has been widely criticized by some Democrats and the vast majority of Republicans for some provisions. These include lower penalties for a wide range of violent crimes that include carjackings and even robberies. 

Many have also criticized the controversial crime bill for many other reasons, including that it would severely increase the number of misdemeanor offenses that go to trial.

“Carjackings and car thefts have become a daily routine,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said during a Senate floor speech, adding that homicides in the capital city have been increasing so much that they now happen four times per week, making Washington, D.C. one of the cities with the highest crime rate in the country.

Copyright 2023,