House GOP investigators say they’re not done looking into DC management, particularly public safety, and will hold a general hearing on the issue this month.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, Republican of Kentucky, invited city officials, including DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, along with the DC Police Union to the March 29 meeting.
“Congress sent a clear message to the DC Council: It’s time to make our nation’s capital safe again,” Mr. Comer said in a statement to the Washington Post. “All Americans should feel safe in their capital, but radical left politics have led to a crime crisis and rampant homelessness. As the committee responsible for the District of Columbia, the Oversight Committee has a constitutional responsibility to oversee the policies that have plagued our capital city.”
Efforts to address DC matters follow a successful effort by congressional Republicans to block a DC revision of the criminal code that would have weakened maximum penalties for carjacking and other crimes.
Some Democrats supported the disapproval resolution, and President Biden chose not to veto it, underscoring Democrats’ fears of being painted as soft on crime.
Mendelson said DC officials did a poor job of delivering the bill, which adjusted the penalties to the level of penalties imposed in the states. Local officials fear the incident will open the door to further interference in the city’s affairs.
House Republicans often use their constitutional powers to block DC legislation, especially when they hold the majority. While denial resolutions are rarely successful, Republicans have tied so-called tabs to must-pass legislation to block DC attempts, fund abortions with local funds, and set up legal marijuana sales.
Recent GOP oversight efforts have focused on public safety in the nation’s capital.
Rep. Andrew Clyde, the Georgia Republican who led the charge against the DC criminal code overhaul, issued a new threat to overturn an overhaul of the DC police force that began after George Floyd’s death in 2020 and in a final bill was sent to Congress in January.
Among other changes, local law banned the use of neck braces, expanded access to footage from body-worn police cameras, and expanded membership of the Force Review Board.
The DC Police Union opposes the changes, saying they have had a negative impact on officer retention and recruitment.
Source : www.washingtontimes.com