President Biden on Tuesday spoke to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) after he was a victim of an armed carjacking in Washington, D.C., the night before.
“The president did have an opportunity to speak with the congressman today, and we will always continue to speak out against any sort of violence,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “We are certainly grateful and relieved that the congressman was unharmed, and we are thankful to the law enforcement to have reacted so quickly.”
Cueller said that three young men came up behind him with guns as he was leaving his car to go into his Navy Yard apartment in southeast D.C. He handed over his keys, he said, and they drove away without injuring him.
The congressman’s car and phone were returned a couple hours later. Mayor Muriel Bowser also reached out to him, he said.
Jean-Pierre on Tuesday said it is “unacceptable” what happened to him and outlined work Biden has done to provide funding to reduce crime. The uptick in crime in Democratic-controlled cities, such as D.C., has been a major issue local governments are dealing with and a talking point for Republicans in the 2022 midterms and going into 2024.
“We’re grateful and relieved that the congressman is unharmed. We understand what communities are going through across the country, not just in D.C.,” Jean-Pierre said.
She noted that the American Rescue Plan, which Biden signed into law in 2021, included billions of dollars for funding for local, state and federal police. And, she said that Republicans did not vote for that legislation.
“I’m going to speak to what the president has done,” she added, when pressed on the fact that D.C. is run by Democrats.
D.C. has seen increased levels of crime throughout the region, and the city recently passed its 200th homicide this year, marking a 38 percent increase compared with this time in 2022.
There has also been more than a 100 percent increase in motor vehicle theft in the city, with 5,409 total vehicle thefts occurring this year as of Tuesday.
Source: The Hill