Biden signed the bill, after lawmakers in both houses of Congress passed the Washington DC Council last week rejecting changes to the bill revising the capital’s penal code.
In November 2022, the Washington DC Council passed legislation that revised the capital’s penal code, introducing new regulations that would reduce existing penalties for certain violent crimes, such as carjacking. The Council, which was vetoed by Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, passed the bill by re-voting and overcame the mayor’s veto.
It was rumored that President Joe Biden, who advocated the “autonomous administration” of Washington DC and that it should be a state that makes its own decisions, could veto the aforementioned bill.
However, Biden said, “I support DC’s statehood and autonomy. However, I do not support some of the changes that the DC Council has put forward despite the Mayor’s objections, such as lowering the carjacking penalties. If the Senate wants to overturn the DC Council’s decision, I will sign it.” He had said he wouldn’t.
The city of Washington DC, named after the country’s founder, George Washington, has a special status. The struggle to gain state status in the city with a population of 712,000, dominated by Democrats, has been on the agenda of the American public for years.
The debates became the agenda again after Biden passed the law.