President Biden would to veto a GOP-led measure to block Washington, D.C.’s major police accountability legislation if the resolution passes Congress. “Congress should respect D.C.’s right to pass … measures that improve public safety and public trust,” a White House official told the Washington Post. “The President will veto this resolution if it reaches his desk.” Biden’s threat to veto the measure — known as a disapproval resolution — is likely to end the GOP’s hopes of rejecting another piece of D.C. legislation, the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Act. Congress this month passed a resolution blocking D.C.’s criminal code overhaul, which Biden signed — angering advocates for D.C. statehood and causing local Democrats to fear more legislation could be in jeopardy.
Biden “will not support congressional Republicans’ efforts to overturn commonsense police reforms such as: banning chokeholds; limiting use of force and deadly force; requiring the timely release of body-worn camera footage; and requiring officer training on de-escalation and use of force,” the statement said. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s nonvoting delegate in the House, thanked Biden for coming out early with a veto threat. She had been caught off guard and disappointed when Biden announced support for rejecting D.C.’s criminal code overhaul. “The president has finally reached the appropriate conclusion that the nearly 700,000 residents of the nation’s capital deserve, and are fully capable, of governing themselves,” she said Thursday. Biden’s veto threat came a day after the House Oversight Committee advanced the resolution disapproving of the policing bill on a party-line vote. Biden surprised local Democrats when he announced that he would sign the GOP disapproval resolution blocking the criminal code overhaul, which was the subject of political attacks that it was “soft on crime” — a characterization that council members strongly disputed.