'Republican majority changes the course': McCarthy celebrates blocking DC sentencing bill

By Jen Krausz on
 March 12, 2023

On Friday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) celebrated the passing of a resolution blocking a Washington, D.C. crime reform bill that drastically reduced the sentencing guidelines for many serious crimes.

"We're sending a message to every city, to every county, to every state, that no longer will Washington be soft on crime," McCarthy said. "No longer will we be defunding police. No longer will we be softening sentences."

"A new Republican majority changes the course," McCarthy said at a signing ceremony for the bill Friday. "This might just be a bill that makes D.C. safer, but it is a message for the entire nation, that we want safe streets, we want safe communities, we want safe schools and we know that, in a bipartisan way, everybody wants the same."

The Senate passed the bill 81-14 after 31 Democrats joined Republicans to pass it in the House. Biden agreed not to veto it because of the bipartisan support.

"This is what happens when politicians decide we need fewer arrests, or shorter sentences and defunding of the police," McCarthy said at the ceremony. "Really what this bill deals with is every city in this nation. This is the moment in time we take our streets back. This is the moment in this country that we say no more."

Despite some Democrats' support for the bill, crime reform is going to be an important issue in the 2024 presidential and congressional elections.