House fails to override Biden veto on DC accountability bill
By The Citizen on June 13, 2023
The House on Tuesday failed to override President Biden’s veto of a resolution that would block Washington, D.C.’s police accountability bill from taking effect.
The chamber voted 233-197 to override Biden’s veto, which was short of the two-thirds support needed. Thirteen Democrats voted with Republicans in support of the veto override: Reps. Nikki Budzinski (Ill.), Angie Craig (Minn.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Don Davis (N.C.), Jared Golden (Maine), Susie Lee (Nevada), Wiley Nickel (N.C.), Jimmy Panetta (Calif.), Chris Pappas (N.H.), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (Wash.), Pat Ryan (N.Y.), Kim Schrier (Wash.) and Eric Sorensen (Ill.).
House Republicans have introduced a number of disapproval resolutions taking aim at D.C. policy since transition into the majority. They saw success with the effort in March when the president signed a disapproval resolution overturning D.C.’s crime bill after the White House initially said it was opposed to it — a move that drew ire from several Democrats.
Republicans have specifically zeroed in on crime-related policies in an effort to put a spotlight on a hot-button issue that resonated with voters during the 2022 midterm elections. It also forces lawmakers to go on the record on the matter.
The D.C. measure in Tuesday’s resolution — a police accountability bill titled the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act — would permanently enact some reforms that the District put in place temporarily after George Floyd was killed in 2020. The measure, for example, limits police searches based on receiving consent instead of a warrant, restricts the use of nonlethal weapons when trying to mitigate riots, adds civilians to disciplinary review boards, and cements a requirement that videos captured on body cameras are released publicly in the cases of police-involved shootings.
The legislation passed through the D.C. Council in December, but Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) did not sign or veto the measure. In Washington, D.C., legislation can be enacted even if it is not signed by the mayor.
Bowser and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) penned a letter to leaders of the House and Senate in March opposing the push by GOP lawmakers to block the District’s policing bill.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) on Tuesday called the disapproval resolution “profoundly undemocratic.”