Resolution to block DC police reform bill introduced in US House

Days after the Senate voted block D.C.'s proposed new criminal code, there is now a new Congressional effort to halt police reforms passed by the D.C. Council.

U.S. Representatives Andrew Clyde of Georgia and Andrew Garbarino of New York, introduced a resolution disapproving of D.C.'s Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022.

A temporary version of the bill was first passed in the summer of 2020 in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. It was later made permanent in December 2022 and transmitted to Congress without Mayor Muriel Bowser's signature.

The bill strengthens police disciplinary procedures, addresses use of force, bulks up the office of police complaints, and increases the public's access to records when there is an investigation into possible police misconduct. It is currently pending Congressional review.

In a statement, D.C. Police Union said that it fully backs the disapproval efforts. You can read Chairman Gregg Pemberton's full statement below:

"The passage of this new House Joint Resolution is necessary to protect public safety in our Nation’s Capital. This Act is a dangerous law that destroys collective bargaining rights of MPD police officers, eviscerates due process, reduces less-lethal options for law enforcement during a riot, and further contributes to the critical staffing crisis that is plaguing the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) today. This Act is laced with bad policies with real-world consequences that delay justice for families and victims."

In the past, the union has been outspoken against the police reform efforts in the District, as certain crimes, like homicides, have hit higher numbers than before the pandemic.


Senate votes against DC criminal code revisions

The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday in favor of a disapproval resolution that would overturn D.C.'s criminal code revisions.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson pointed out after the disapproval resolution was introduced, that D.C. police reform bill is not unlike the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, expect that it removes a provision over police immunity which has made it more difficult for the national bill to get full Congressional support.

Chairman Mendelson released the following statement about the effort to halt the District Council's police reform bill:

"Clearly the DC FOP is behind this override bill. They already took it to court. And lost. They ran cable TV ads against it last year. Now they are going to Congress – and misrepresenting it – as a last, desperate attempt to avoid accountability. I hope Congress does not take up this latest override resolution. It's not just a Statehood argument. I hope they will see that an override is a step back for good policing. And the hypocrisy of overturning legislation that they previously allowed to become law not once but three times." 


House Republicans planning to visit Jan. 6 defendants in DC jail

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene previously visited the defendants in November 2021.

The bill currently has 15 Republican co-sponsors, but does not appear to have the same bipartisan support that Criminal Code disapproval resolution did.