NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today watched with interest as President Joe Biden signed into law Hagerty’s resolution of disapproval to block the D.C. Council’s dangerous Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 (RCCA) from taking effect.
“Our nation’s capital and its visitors can breathe easier today following the defeat of the D.C. Council’s dangerous attempt to reduce penalties for violent crime and to warp D.C.’s trial court system in a manner that would transform the federal district into a catch-and-release haven for criminal offenders,” said Senator Hagerty. “I am glad President Biden has finally acknowledged that we have a violent crime problem in our nation’s capital and that Congress has a vital role in ensuring that the D.C. Council’s soft-on-crime measure does not become law. Also, I thank Representative Clyde for his partnership in the House of Representatives. The enactment of this bill is a victory for law and order and for the safety of Washington, D.C. residents and the millions of Americans from across the country, including many of my constituents from Tennessee, who visit their nation’s capital every year. I hope this message resonates through the crime-ridden cities across America that we are serious about supporting law enforcement.”
The D.C. Council’s RCCA would reduce penalties for many violent criminal offenses, including carjackings, robberies, and even homicides, amid a surge in violent crime in Washington, D.C. and nationwide. On January 4, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed the legislation—stating in a letter to Council Chairman Phil Mendelson that the bill “does not make us safer.” The D.C. Council ultimately ignored the Mayor’s concerns, voting 12-1 to override her veto on January 17th and send the bill to Congress for review pursuant to the D.C. Home Rule Act.
In January 2023, Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09) joined Senator Hagerty’s effort and introduced a companion resolution of disapproval, H.J.Res.26, in the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed by a 250-173 vote on February 9, 2023. 173 House Democrats voted against Hagerty’s resolution and in favor of the D.C. Council’s soft-on-crime proposal.
The resolution of disapproval passed the U.S. Senate by a 81-14-1 vote on March 8, 2023, with fourteen Democrats voting against Hagerty’s resolution in favor of the soft-on-crime bill and Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) voting “present.”