DC leaders grilled on crime by GOP at congressional hearings

Top D.C. government officials faced a grilling from House Republicans Wednesday over crime in the District. 

Congress is increasing pressure on D.C to stop violent crime, especially after a Senate staffer was stabbed earlier this week and a Congresswoman was attacked inside her apartment building last month. 

Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing looked at not only increasing crime, but local laws that the GOP says are making the problem worse.  

"Radical left-wing policies have led to a crime crisis," says Republican Chairman James Comer.

 D.C. Council President Phil Mendelson denied there is any crime crisis here, but the head of the police union testified there is – and it’s getting worse.

"With regard to crime, yes, there is considerable concern. But while perception is important, the reality is less concerning," said Mendelson. "Let me be clear, people should feel safe and it is a problem that many residents in the district don’t." 

 "There are numerous actions by the D.C. council, including their rhetoric, that has led to a mass defection of officers and an exponential increase in violent crime." said D.C. Police Union’s Greg Pemberton. 

In a news briefing, the Congressional Black Caucus blasted the hearing and the denial of D.C. statehood as Republicans’ way of punishing a majority Black democratic city. But Republicans say this is violent crime that affects all people, and blame D.C. government for ‘weak on crime’ policies.

"It’s clear that these far left politics, driven by this progressive D.C. council members, are having a deteriorating effect on educations standards, rising crime and increased financial instability in our nation’s capital," said Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). 

"This hearing’s called to malign the leaders of D.C. for their handling of criminal violence, which our colleagues will do nothing to stop, should instead be a hearing to examine and move statehood for the people of Washington, D.C.," said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).