On Monday, the chairman of the D.C. Council withdrew the legislation reforming the district’s criminal code after President Biden announced last week that he would not veto Congressional legislation overturning it, CNN reported.
Last Thursday, the president told Senate Democrats that he would not veto the Congressional resolution overriding the district’s criminal code reform bill which lowers maximum penalties for some gun crimes and carjacking.
Last month, the House voted 250-173, including 31 Democrats, to override the new criminal reform bill. Such resolutions only require a simple majority in the Senate to pass, making it likely that the measure would easily clear the Democrat-controlled Senate.
The district’s criminal code reforms would have lowered the maximum sentence for carjacking from 21 years to 18 years. For armed carjackings, the maximum penalty would have been lowered from 40 years to only 24 years.
Additionally, there forms would have reduced the penalty for armed robbery from 45 years to just 20 years. Initially, the White House said the president would veto the resolution which was written by Georgia Republican Congressman Andrew Clyde.
When asked last week if the president’s reversal was done to protect vulnerable Senate Democrats who face reelection in 2024, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged the question, saying only that the president wants to ensure that he is continuing to “deliver for the American people.”
In a press conference on Monday, DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson said he sent a letter notifying the US Senate that the criminal code reform bill had been withdrawn. Mendelson said the bill was withdrawn since it was “clear” that Congress planned to override it.
A Republican Senate aide told CNN that even with the criminal reform bill withdrawn, Republican senators will expect to vote on the resolution this week.