WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Praise for Hagerty’s Leadership in Blocking the DC Council’s Dangerous Crime Bill

March 20, 2023

NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty’s (R-TN) resolution of disapproval to block the DC Council’s irresponsible, soft-on-crime Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 (RCCA) from taking effect, which passed last week in the U.S. Senate by an overwhelming bipartisan margin and is on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk, has received broad support from leaders in law enforcement—both in Washington, D.C. and nationally—Washington, D.C. community leaders, and members of Congress who see this resolution as an important step in addressing the violent crime wave in our nation’s capital and making it safe for the millions of Americans who visit each year.

See some of their statements below: 

National Association of Police Organization President Mick McHale: “Law enforcement agencies and cities across the country are facing similar attacks on public safety to what is in the District’s Revised Criminal Code Act of 2023.  Not only would the revised code have negatively impacted the city’s public safety by lowering the penalties on crimes such as carjacking, illegal firearm possession, and robbery, it would have made an officer’s ability to defend themselves and the citizens they are sworn to protect more difficult. NAPO is grateful for the bipartisan opposition to the District’s Revised Criminal Code Act and the action Congress took to roll it back so that the D.C. Council can work with the Mayor, the Police Department, and the union to revise the criminal code in a way that will not benefit violent criminals over victims and will actually make the city safer.  NAPO thanks Senator Hagerty for leading the charge to protect the citizens, visitors, officers, and public safety of the District of Columbia.”

Fraternal Order of Police National President Patrick Yoes: “The FOP has the privilege of being the union that represents the men and women of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), so when these officers made it clear that the RCCA will embolden criminals, dramatically increase crime and violence, and render police officers in the District of Columbia virtually powerless to adequately police the city and keep its residents and visitors safe, we acted.  Mayor Muriel E. Bowser vetoed the original bill, as these so-called “reforms” have been implemented in. We are fortunate that Senate leaders like Senator Hagerty and Speaker McCarthy took the initiative to use Congressional authority to disapprove of the RCCA to protect the residents and visitors to the city.”

D.C. Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton: “On behalf of the nearly 3,500 members of our Union, I express our formal thanks and heartfelt appreciation for this vote supporting public safety and justice for victims of crime.”

Former D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner K. Denise Rucker Krepp: “The DC Council Revised Criminal Code Act enables the early release of rapists from prison. Rape is an irreversible act of violence. Victims don’t get a second chance and rapists must be required to serve their full prison sentence. I thank all the Senators who voted for the disapproval resolution.”

Executive Director of Heritage Action Jessica Anderson: “President Biden’s ‘Defund the Police’ rhetoric and the Left’s soft-on-crime approach have created a historic crime crisis in the United States. Every day, cities across the country see new reports of violent assaults, carjackings, thefts, and murders. In the nation’s capital, rather than addressing the city’s 40% increase in homicides over the last year, the D.C. City Council attempted to significantly weaken the criminal code and further jeopardize public safety.  Congress’s bipartisan disapproval of the city council’s radical changes to the criminal code proves that the American people want to see their leaders embrace public safety and enforce the rule of law.  Heritage Action is grateful for Senator Hagerty’s leadership on this issue, and looks forward to continuing to work with him on promoting policies that make all Americans safer in their communities.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “I want to thank Senator Hagerty for spearheading the commonsense 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.” 

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): “Reducing the penalties for violent crimes–carjackings, robberies, and even homicides–as these numbers rise is incredibly tone deaf to local calls for increased safety and policing. This is happening right in the President’s backyard. So I commend my colleague Senator Bill Hagerty from Tennessee for introducing a resolution of disapproval to block the DC City Council’s dangerous and irresponsible Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 from taking effect.”

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY): “Thanks to the leadership of Senator Hagerty, who’s leading our discussions and our efforts, Senate Republicans are going to vote to stop Washington, D.C.’s radical new legislation.”

Senator John Thune (R-SD): “I want to acknowledge the great work of the Senator from Tennessee, Senator Hagerty, on this matter… I think he has touched a nerve in a way that is going to lead to a very big bipartisan outcome on this, because it’s a recognition that the issue that he addresses with this resolution is one that the American people I think feel deeply about, one that is affecting our cities both large and small all across this country, and one in which I think the Unites States Senate needs to be heard.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “If there was an award to be given for bad ideas, I would nominate what the DC City Council did in trying to reduce punishments for crimes against persons and property at a time when the city is on fire in terms of crime. So Senator Hagerty and others have stepped into the breach…. [W]e are going to vote and we are going to end this ill-conceived idea. And I want to thank Senator Hagerty for his leadership.” 

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX): “I’m proud to support the resolution to disapprove of the D.C. City Council’s decision, and I thank my friend from Tennessee for his leadership in bringing this resolution.”

Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO): “Proud to join Senator Hagerty in blocking the D.C. City Council’s ridiculous attempt to lessen penalties for certain violent crimes. We need to send a message that the safety of the citizens we represent is of paramount importance, and we did that tonight.”