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D.C. Police Reform Survives House Vote Failing To Override Biden Veto

The House on Tuesday was unable to advance its effort to overturn a District of Columbia policing bill, falling short of the threshold needed to override a veto by President Biden. the 233-197 vote did not reach the two-thirds majority needed to disapprove of D.C.’s law changing police policy. Biden vetoed the resolution last month, after a narrow majority in both chambers passed it. D.C.'s measure bans police chokeholds, increases public access to police body cameras and requires that police use de-escalation techniques. It largely mirrors an executive order from Biden that set similar rules for federal law enforcement, reports Roll Call.

Republicans have argued the law overly restricts police and is part of a “soft on crime” agenda among Democrats. Democrats say the law represents needed policing reforms. In a floor speech Tuesday, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said Congress should not weigh in on policies D.C.’s own elected officials have decided for their own residents. "The D.C. Council has 13 members. The members are elected by D.C. residents. If D.C. residents do not like how the members vote, they can vote them out of office," Norton said. Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), said the D.C. law is part of broader anti-police rhetoric among Democrats and said such policies are responsible for law enforcement officers leaving departments nationwide. "Policies like those in D.C., this deeply misguided police reform law only empowers criminals at the expense of our men and women in blue," he said in a floor speech.


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