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House passes resolution targeting another D.C. bill, this one on police reform

Fourteen Democrats joined Republicans in passing the power grab measure. President Joe Biden said he would veto it.


Conservatives' apparent mission to impose an anti-democratic rule over residents of Washington, D.C., is moving full speed ahead. And Republicans leading the effort, yet again, have some allies in the Democratic Party.

With the help of 14 Democrats, Republicans voted on Wednesday to overturn a police reform package approved by the Washington City Council last year. Parts of the package were first instituted in 2020, following widespread protests over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police.

Wednesday’s vote follows last month's successful push by conservatives to overturn changes to Washington's criminal code, also approved by the voter-elected city council. It was the first time Congress successfully blocked a Washington bill in more than 30 years.

Here are the 14 House Democrats who voted with all 215 Republicans in an attempt to usurp democratic control over Washington:

  • Nikki Budzinski of Illinois
  • Eric Sorensen of Illinois
  • Angie Craig of Minnesota
  • Henry Cuellar of Texas
  • Don Davis of North Carolina
  • Wiley Nickel of North Carolina
  • Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey
  • Jared Golden of Maine
  • Susie Lee of Nevada
  • Jimmy Panetta of California
  • Chris Pappas of New Hampshire
  • Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington state
  • Kim Schrier of Washington state
  • Pat Ryan of New York

They all seem to think they know what's best for the voters in Washington, D.C. when it comes to policing — more so than the voters themselves.

A Washington Post report last month outlined some of the key reforms included in the bill the House just voted to overturn:

The bill [Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act] was first passed as temporary emergency legislation in July 2020, and many of its provisions have been part of police policy for nearly three years. The bill adds civilians to disciplinary review boards and gives voting rights on those boards to an independent agency that reviews police conduct. It limits police searching people or property based on getting consent, instead of a warrant, and restricts the use of less-than-lethal weapons during riots and the use of military-grade equipment. The bill also requires police to make video from body-worn cameras public when police shoot people, and the public disclosure of those officers’ names, which has now been routine for years.

President Joe Biden has vowed to veto the House resolution that seeks to block the police reform package. But this fiasco is largely a problem of his own creation. 

Last month, Biden backed the GOP-led effort to block reforms to Washington's criminal code. By overruling the city council, Biden and his conservative-leaning partners effectively deprived district residents — a large portion of whom are Black — of their right to representation and self-determination. And the move to usurp power from the majority-Black city council occurred as state officials across the country were taking similar steps to strip power from Black officials

Regular readers of The ReidOut Blog may remember my prediction that Biden’s signing of the bill would send a dangerous message to conservatives that future power grabs could succeed. Now, Biden’s going to have to hope he can use his veto power to tame a beast he helped unleash.