Chairman of Washington D.C. City Council Testifies at Congress Hearing

Chairman of Washington D.C. City Council Testifies to Congress

( – The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on March 29th, 2023, in an effort to conduct what they refer to as “overdue oversight of the Capitol city.” Chairman of the Washington D.C. City Council, Phil Mendelson, testified before the committee, facing tough questions about crime in the city, as well as the quality of schools. During the hearing, Chairman Mendelson expressed his sympathy with residents who feel unsafe but stated that “there is not a crime crisis in Washington, D.C.,” raising eyebrows among members of the committee. 

Chairman Mendelson was also there to ask Congress not to overturn the new policing bill that the city council has passed, which has been widely condemned by the D.C. Police Union due to the negative implications for the police officers and interferes with collective bargaining. Representatives Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., and Andrew Garbarino recently unveiled a resolution to undo the changes from the city’s new policing bill. According to Axios, Rep. Clyde called it “anti-police legislation,” adding that it will impede recruitment of new officers, while also further lowering morale. 

Chairman Mendelson’s written testimony stated that overturning the new policing bill will prevent the city from their efforts to identify “officer misconduct and make it harder to hold bad cops accountable.” However, the D.C. Police Union Chairman, Gregg Pemberton, recently released a statement in support of the House resolution, expressing his belief that the new policy caters to criminals instead of protecting officers and victims of crimes. Following the hearing, Republicans in the committee began marking up new legislation that would overturn the policing bill.

Both chambers of Congress recently passed legislation that overturned Washington D.C.’s new criminal code lowering penalties for crimes such as robbery, burglary, and carjackings. The legislation was signed into law by President Biden despite the city council withdrawing the measure after learning of widespread Democrat support of the Republican-led effort. 

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