DC City Council tries to undo the damage it inflicted on Biden and the congressional Dems

When the Washington, D.C. City Council overrode the veto of Mayor Muriel Bowser and made into law a "criminal justice reform" bill that would have reduced mandatory minimum sentences, made serious felonies into misdemeanors, and overwhelmed the courts by allowing jury trials for many misdemeanors, they unconsciously laid a no-win trap for President Biden and the Senate Democrats.

Because Congress and the president have the ability to override D.C. laws, and because House Republicans quickly "pounced"(as the prog cliché inevitably has it) and passed a bill to override it, Biden and Senate Dems would either have to concur and override it — thereby enraging the pro-criminal SJW bullies — or be seen as endorsing a lunatic bill that would quickly escalate the already intolerable level of crime in the nation's capital.  So toxic was the bill that 31 House Democrats voted with the GOP, flouting party discipline and dealing a blow to House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, who lives in the long shadow of iron-willed Nancy Pelosi.

Characteristically, Biden dithered.  At first, Biden told Senate Democrats last Thursday that he wouldn't veto the bill.  That put Senate Dems, who control the majority, in the hot seat.  Senators Manchin, Casey, and Fetterman had all announced support, but if it came down to an override vote following Biden's veto, every Dem up for re-election in 2024 — all 20 of them — would be caught having to take responsibility for the bill if they voted no.  That would label them "soft on crime."  And if they voted yes, that would alienate the noisiest and most aggressive portion of their base.


Biden's lack of a veto threat might open the floodgates on the D.C. crime vote. Several Democrats predicted an overwhelming margin of support to roll back some of D.C.'s recent progressive crime measures.

"I think that's where most of the caucus is. Most of the caucus sees the mayor in a reasonable position as saying: 95 percent of this is really good, some of this is problematic. And we need to keep working on it," Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said after the meeting.

Somebody among the puppeteers running the Biden presidency must have told him that if he really is running for re-election, he would lose a lot of undecided and even some Democrat voters over his soft-on-crime position at a time when people are worried about their personal safety, so he abruptly reversed himself.  The New York Times:

President Biden said on Thursday that he would not stand in the way of a Republican-led proposal to block a new criminal code for the District of Columbia, steering clear of a veto fight over a measure he had opposed in a move that underscored the rising political potency of public alarm about violent crime.

So now Biden risks alienating the Squad, the felon vote, and the pro-crime SJWs.  And Senate Dems still have to take a position on the D.C. crime bill that will alienate voters no matter which way they vote.

Having created this problem, the dimwits on the D.C. City Council are attempting to undo the damage they have inflicted on their party.

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on Monday wrote a letter to the Senate attempting to withdraw the district's criminal reform legislation from congressional review after it became clear the Senate intended to nix the legislation.

"This morning, I delivered a letter to the Senate withdrawing the criminal code reform commission legislation," Mendelson said during a news conference on Monday.

"It's clear that Congress is intending to override that legislation and so my letter, just as I transmit bills for their review, withdraws from consideration the review."

But there is a big problem. The federal law granting limited home rule to D.C. does not allow for the D.C. government to withdraw a bill already up for review by Congress and already disapproved by one house of Congress:

A senior Republican aide said the GOP still expects a Senate vote this week to halt the local legislation.

Another leadership aide added: "Not only does the statute not allow for a withdrawal of a transmission, but at this point the Senate Republican privileged motion will be acting on the House disapproval resolution, rather than the DC Council's transmission to the Senate. We still expect the vote to occur."

The ridiculous bill was so toxic that D.C.'s progressive mayor saw the problems and vetoed it.  But the City Council was so in thrall to the pro-crime faction of its party that it blew its chance to self-correct.  Now all that's left is a protracted futile struggle to undo the damage, which can only add more publicity to the issue.

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