Criminal law

Coming: D.C.’s lightened crime-fighting law will turn a crime crisis into a disaster


WASHINGTON — House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) today delivered remarks on the House floor in support of House Joint Resolution 26, which disapproves of District of Columbia Revised Criminal Code of 2022. With violent crime rampant in our nation’s capital, the D.C. Board Act will make the unacceptable crime rate in our nation’s capital even worse. The Joint Dismissal Resolution, if passed by Congress and signed by the President, would prevent this Mitigated Crimes Act from going into effect.

President Kummer’s remarks prepared for delivery appear below.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Today I stand in support of House Clyde Joint Resolution 26, a resolution rejecting the District of Columbia’s Criminal Code Amendment Act of 2022.

There is a crime crisis in the capital of the Americans.

According to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, car thefts in the area have increased by 76% compared to this time last year.

Total property crime increased by 24%.

Homicides increased by 17%.

In fact, DC is currently on track for the highest number of murders since 1995.

But the radical D.C. Council passed legislation that would turn this crime crisis into a disaster.

The D.C. Council’s Progressive Crime Offenses Legislation eliminates all mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for violent crimes while significantly reducing the maximum penalties allowed to courts.

These changes encourage criminals to spread throughout the District of Columbia.

The law also grants the right to trial by jury to now include most misdemeanors.

This will overburden the already overcrowded D.C. court system and reduce the resources allocated to serious crime cases.

This further erodes the individual’s right to a fair and speedy trial afforded to him by our Constitution.

All Americans should feel safe in their capital.

But they don’t because Democrats in Washington, D.C., indulged criminals at the expense of the safety of Americans.

Ensuring public safety and tackling crime is a cornerstone of the House Republicans’ policy agenda.

And in November last year, Americans voted for a new majority in the House of Representatives.

A new majority will directly address crime to ensure a safe nation!

This D.C. Council legislation is a brazen rejection of law and order.

It is a dereliction of duty to ignore the high rates of crime in the region and to be lenient towards violent criminals in the community.

This terrible policy will affect anyone who sets foot in the District of Columbia, including residents, the mobile workforce, federal government officials, foreign dignitaries, and Americans visiting their nation’s capital.

If the D.C. Council wants to continue to evade its responsibility to the people, it will have to answer to this Congress.

It should be noted that we in Congress are not alone.

On January 4th, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser took the unusual step of vetoing the legislation, calling the proposals “controversial” and stating that the law “doesn’t make (the area) safer.”

Mayor Bowser’s bold executive veto sent a powerful message that the policy proposals in this bill are simply unworkable and unsafe for the district.

There may not have been much that Mayor Bowser and I agreed on in the past, but today, we are on the same page.

I invite all of my colleagues to join me in this decision rejecting the D.C. Criminal Code Amendment Act of 2022.

We must ensure that these horrible criminal law reforms are not implemented.

I reserve the balance of my time.


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