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WH says Biden would sign resolution to overturn D.C. council crime bill

During the White House briefing on Thursday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that even though President Biden supports statehood for the District of Columbia, he would sign a resolution that would reject changes to the D.C. criminal code made by the district’s council.

Video transcript

- The President just tweeted a couple-- two minutes ago regarding the DC home rule, saying he would sign the resolution which they've had decided to overturn the changes to DC's criminal code. The President himself spoke a bit about his support for DC stayed in the past. Why does he believe that he should step in where the DC-- where the residents of DC's elected representatives pass these changes? Why does he believe that he should substitute his wisdom and judgment for theirs?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So look, I mean, just to double down and triple down on what the President has said for decades, which is that he believes every city should have the right to self-government. That is still is the same case. That hasn't changed anything. He has long believed that DC statehood should be something that the residents of DC should be allowed.

Again, that hasn't changed. But this is different. The way that we see this, it's very different. The DC council put changes forward over the mayor's objections. And the President doesn't support changes like lowering penalties for carjacking. So this piece is different. But again, it doesn't change the administration strongly supporting HR 51, which would have made DC the 51st state. That is something that he still very much supports. And we're going to continue to call on Congress to provide a swift and orderly transition to statehood for the people who live here in DC.

- Explain a little bit why this is different? But just because it's different-- the President believes that every state should have the right to self government, except the people he disagrees with the outcomes of their governing process?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Look, one thing that the President believes in is making sure that the streets in America and communities across the country are safe. That includes DC. That does not change. That's why he puts forward a historic peace-- a historic plan that he hopes Republicans in Congress would support, which is a Safer America Plan.

That is something that the President has led. When you think about keeping communities safe, when you think about making sure that we're also protecting our law enforcement and making sure that we have law enforcement and communities that continue to keep communities safe. That's something that he has led on. So when it comes to what this proposal brings forth, which is really lowering penalties for carjacking, that's not going to-- he doesn't believe that's going to keep our community safe. So if the bill comes he's going to take action as he said.