Old Uncle Joe has officially spoken out to promise that he will sign a law to make sure he can stop the city of Washington D.C. from carrying out an overhaul of its crime and voting laws.
The city council of Washington, D.C. recently passed a bill to overhaul the criminal code for the city, and another bill that will allow non-citizens to take part in voting for local elections. However, the House of Representatives passed two resolutions intended to block those bills from becoming law, and the Senate is expected to carry out a vote on them as early as next week. Biden expressed late last week that he would sign the bills if they made it to him.
As explained by NPR, Biden reportedly explained to Senate Democrats as part of a closed-door meeting last week that he would not issue a veto to the new bills, which are slated to make it through with bipartisan support. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) officially confirmed the choice to reporters after the meeting concluded.
Biden confirmed the news himself via social media. “I support D.C. Statehood and home-rule – but I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections – such as lowering penalties for carjackings,” explained Biden in a tweet posted to the official Presidential Twitter account. “If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did – I’ll sign it.”
The Senate is slated to carry out a vote on these new bills at some point this week. A pair of Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Bob Casey (D-PA), have already vocally issued their support for the bills. With John Fetterman, Casey’s Pennsylvania colleague, seemingly out of commission for what is expected to be a long period of time due to health issues, the Democrats do not seem to have the needed votes to put a stop to the passing of the resolutions, stated POLITICO in a report, going on to add that with Biden expressing his wholesale support for the measures, they could end up earning more votes from Democrats by the time they make it to the floor. The bills will require a simple majority to make it through, and cannot wind up filibustered.
City Officials for D.C. have passed the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendments Act directly after it’s very first reading last year, which Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser allowed to slide through without the need for her signature, as she refused to issue a veto to the legislation.