Democrats More Concerned With Bad Press Than Violent Crime
‘The proposition behind our bill is simple. It goes like this: The answer to skyrocketing violent crime in the District of Columbia is not to reduce criminal penalties even further. On what planet should this even need to be said in the first place?... We cannot only have public safety in this country in exceptional cases when a Republican House and a narrowly-divided Senate can force Democrats to do the right thing against their will.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding law and order:
“One month ago, the Biden Administration published an official statement opposing Republicans’ bill to block a disastrous new soft-on-crime law here in our nation’s capital. The Administration was on the record against it.
“Then the overwhelming majority of House Democrats voted against our commonsense resolution when it passed the House.
“The proposition behind our bill is simple. It goes like this: The answer to skyrocketing violent crime in the District of Columbia is not to reduce criminal penalties even further.
“On what planet should this even need to be said in the first place?
“The murder rate in Washington is 34% higher today than it was at this time last year. Auto thefts are up 110%.
“Longtime D.C. residents are locking their car doors at every red light. Tourists visiting their own capital are worried about walking the streets.
“Just yesterday, the chief of Metropolitan Police lamented that the average homicide suspect that his department encounters has already been arrested 11 times before.
“Here’s what the police chief said: ‘What we’ve got to do – if we really want to see homicides go down – is keep bad guys with guns in jail. Because when they’re in jail, they can’t be in communities shooting people.’
“But the radical politicians who run this city tried to do the opposite.
“The liberal city council cooked up a soft-on-crime overhaul of the criminal code that would have made it even easier for repeat offenders to get back out on the street.
“It would have brought the mandatory minimum sentences for crimes like robbery and carjacking down even lower than they already are. And it would have gummed up an already backlogged and dysfunctional criminal justice system by massively expanding jury trials for misdemeanors.
“It’s like these local Democrats have never met a single criminal they actually want locked up behind bars.
“It’s just remarkable.
“This is exactly why our laws give Congress the final say over how our nation’s capital is governed.
“Because we can’t have the craziness and dysfunction of a few local politicians jeopardizing basic public safety in the federal district that houses our national government.
“So Republicans wrote a resolution to overturn this nonsense.
“Bear in mind, this limited resolution would not even toughen criminal penalties. At this point we’re talking about keeping things where they are and stopping even further backsliding.
“The first step is to use this legal tool to stop the unhinged local politicians from making the totally unacceptable status quo even worse.
“But even so, this was a bridge too far for the vast majority of Washington Democrats.
“Just a month ago, the White House issued an official statement opposing House Republicans’ commonsense resolutions, saying, ‘Congress should respect the District of Columbia’s autonomy to govern its own local affairs.’
“And 82% of House Democrats fell in line behind the Biden Administration and voted ‘no.’
“But then something amazing happened.
“I think somebody at the White House may have shown the President his latest poll numbers on this issue. Fewer than one in three Americans approve of the way he’s handling crime.
“Because Washington Democrats started panicking and reversed themselves on a dime.
“The President came here last week, pulled a 180, and told our Democratic colleagues he won’t veto the resolution after all.
“Now there appears to be a different kind of jailbreak brewing here in the Senate, and a number of Democrats may jump ship at the 11th hour, trying to act like they’ve been tough on crime all along.
“But our colleagues will not be getting off the hook that easily.
“It is not an act of heroic political courage for Democrats to help Congress do our basic minimum job and stop the D.C. Council from making an unacceptable status quo even worse.
“And none of our colleagues get to erase their entire records with this one vote.
“Remember, just last summer, every single Senate Democrat went on the record against a proposal to redirect a portion of their massive taxing and spending spree to fight surging crime.
“So let the record reflect what finally gets Washington Democrats’ attention, and what does not.
“It did not get their attention when rates of violent crime in America’s major cities were accelerating this time last year.
“It did not get their attention that compared to pre-pandemic levels, homicides nationwide are up 34%.
“It hadn’t gotten Democrats’ attention when the streets of our own federal district are where repeat offenders are driving spikes in carjackings and murder.
“But now that even the mainstream media are beginning to hold them to account for their negligence – now Washington Democrats are finally trying to change their tune.
“Innocent citizens getting shot in our streets didn’t do it.
“But when Democrats take political shots in the press?
“That finally gets their attention.
“So, look, Mr. President, we’ll welcome any of our Democratic colleagues who can recognize basic sanity and want to be on the winning side for our Republican resolution later this week
“But local, state, and national Democratic Party officials will not be getting off the hot seat as quickly or as easily as they’ve got convicted felons getting back on the streets.
“Washington D.C. is only 0.2% of our nation’s population. What about New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, Philadelphia, Louisville?
“Don’t these citizens deserve some sanity, too?
“Don’t the families and children and elderly people and young women of those communities deserve to walk their streets with safety and security, too?
“We cannot only have public safety in this country in exceptional cases when a Republican House and a narrowly-divided Senate can force Democrats to do the right thing against their will.”
Related Issues: Crime, Law Enforcement, House Democrats, Senate Democrats