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The House Votes to Block DC Policing Bill Aimed at Accountability and Reform

The House
The House ( Photo: The Washington Post )

The vote comes after a similar measure triggered tensions and divisions among Democrats in March, leading President Joe Biden to decline to veto a resolution to rescind a DC crime law.

The House

The House ( Photo: CNN )

The US House of Representatives has voted in favor of a GOP-backed resolution to block a policing bill in DC aimed at accountability and reform

The move sparked an outcry from congressional Democrats who argued the White House had not made its position clear before the House voted. The resolution went on to pass the Senate and was signed into law by Biden.

This time, however, the White House issued a veto threat ahead of the House vote on blocking the policing bill, making it unlikely that what played out before will be repeated. The resolution, introduced by Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, would next go to the Democratic-controlled Senate if passed by the GOP-controlled House.

Republican supporters of the resolution argue that the DC policing act would weaken law enforcement officers’ power to respond to crime effectively, and have labeled it an “anti-police law.” Democrats have long argued that Congress should not interfere with the Washington, DC government and have defended the reforms outlined in the legislation.

There are divisions among congressional Democrats over the issues of crime and policing

Some in the party are concerned about being criticized by Republicans as “weak on crime.” The Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022, which the resolution would block, was passed by the DC Council. It includes provisions aimed at improving police accountability and transparency, officer discipline and use of force reforms, and enhancing access to body camera recordings.

According to a statement of administration policy on the resolution, while Biden does not support every provision of the DC policing bill, “he will not support congressional Republicans’ efforts to overturn commonsense police reforms,” such as banning chokeholds, limiting the use of force and deadly force, improving access to body-worn camera recordings, and requiring officer training on de-escalation and use of force. Therefore, if the resolution makes it to the president’s desk, “he would veto it,” the statement says.

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