Biden Will Not Veto DC Criminal Code Law

The overhaul passed the D.C. Council late last year.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday he would sign a Republican-sponsored resolution blocking new District of Columbia laws that overhaul how the nation’s capital prosecutes and punishes crime.

City officials have spent nearly two decades trying to redo Washington’s criminal laws, including redefining crimes, changing criminal justice policies and reworking how sentences should be handed down after convictions. The overhaul passed the D.C. Council late last year.

But the Republican-controlled House has decided to wade into city matters, claiming the district’s changes will contribute to already-rising crime in Washington — the number of murders in 2021 was the highest in nearly 20 years — and make it easier for some criminals to get out of prison or evade punishment all together.

The resolution passed the House with some Democratic support and appears poised to clear the Senate on a bipartisan basis as well, perhaps as early as next week.