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Press Release Published: Feb 9, 2023

Comer: D.C.’s Soft-on-Crime Law Will Turn the Crime Crisis Into a Catastrophe

WASHINGTON – House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) today delivered remarks on the House floor in support of House Joint Resolution 26, which disapproves of the District of Columbia’s Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022. As violent crime runs rampant in our nation’s capital, the D.C. Council’s law will make an unacceptable crime rate in our nation’s capital even worse. The joint resolution of disapproval, if passed by Congress and signed by the President, would prevent this soft-on-crime law from going into effect.

Chairman Comer’s remarks as prepared for delivery appear below.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Today I rise in support of Representative Clyde’s House Joint Resolution 26, a resolution disapproving of the District of Columbia’s Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022. 

There is a crime crisis in Americans’ capital city.

According to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, carjackings in the District have increased by 76% compared to this time last year.

Total property crime is up 24%.

And homicides are up 17%.

In fact, D.C. is currently on track to have the most homicides since 1995.

But the radical D.C. Council has enacted legislation that will turn this crime crisis into a catastrophe.

The D.C. Council’s progressive soft-on-crime legislation eliminates almost all of the mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for violent crimes while drastically reducing the maximum penalties allowable to the courts.

These changes embolden criminals to run rampant throughout the District of Columbia.

The Act also grants the right to jury trial to now include most misdemeanor offenses.

This will overload an already crowded D.C. court system and reduce the resources devoted to hearing cases for serious felony offenses.

This further erodes an individual’s right to a fair and speedy trial granted to them through our Constitution.

All Americans should feel safe in their capital city.

But they don’t because of D.C. Democrats’ leniency toward criminals at the expense of Americans’ safety.

Ensuring public safety and addressing crime is a cornerstone of the House Republican’s policy agenda. 

In November of last year, Americans voted for a new majority in the House.

A new majority that will address crime head on to ensure A Nation That’s Safe!

This D.C. Council legislation is a brazen rejection of law and order. 

Ignoring the high rates of criminality in the District and doubling down on leniency for society’s violent criminals is a dereliction of duty.

This terrible policy will impact anyone who steps foot in the District of Columbia—including residents, the commuting workforce, federal government officials and foreign dignitaries, and Americans visiting their nation’s capital.

If the D.C. Council wants to continue to skirt its responsibility to the people, they will have to answer to this Congress.

It should be noted that we in Congress are not alone.

On January 4th, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser took the extraordinary step to veto this legislation, calling the proposals “controversial” and stating the Act “does not make [the District] safer.”

Mayor Bowser’s bold executive veto sent a strong message that the policy proposals of this bill are simply unworkable and unsafe for the District.

There may not be much Mayor Bowser and I have agreed on in the past, but today, we are on the same page.

I call on all of my colleagues to join me in this resolution disapproving of the D.C. Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022.

We must ensure that these terrible criminal code reform reforms are not put into place.

I reserve the balance of my time.