The Washington, D.C., council has advanced a number of far-left proposals in recent months — including a police reform bill so extreme that Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed it.
Although the council had enough votes to override that veto, the district’s local laws are subject to congressional oversight, and the Democratic-led Senate overwhelmingly voted to block the controversial changes.
President Joe Biden previously indicated that he would not veto such a Senate-approved resolution if it landed on his desk.
I support D.C. Statehood and home-rule – but I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections – such as lowering penalties for carjackings.
If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did – I’ll sign it.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 2, 2023
As for another divisive proposal put forward by the D.C. council, however, the president appears more willing to consider supporting it. On the strength of a 12-1 margin, the district approved a policy in October that would allow undocumented immigrants and foreign nationals to cast ballots in local elections.
That proposal would even allow diplomats residing in the district, such as those serving the interests of China and Russia, to vote for the district’s mayor, school board, and other influential offices.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the issue this week, though she did not offer any concrete indication regarding where Biden stands.
“The president does not support allowing noncitizens to vote in federal elections,” she declared. “We’ve been clear about that from here.”
Regarding the D.C. proposal related to local elections, on the other hand, Jean-Pierre said: “I don’t have any updates from here to share … and we’ll update you as soon as — if we have anything, if that changes.”
The White House also released a statement signaling Biden’s belief that residents of the nation’s capital “have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress” for too long and that such “taxation without representation and denial of self-governance is an affront to the democratic values” enumerated in the nation’s founding documents.
Last month, the GOP-led House of Representatives voted to block the bill that would allow noncitizen voting in district races as many Republican lawmakers spoke out firmly against the notion.
“Our nation’s capital city is in crisis, but the D.C. Council has prioritized radical bills that would embolden criminals to remain on the streets and allow non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in local elections,” asserted Rep. James Comer (R-KY). “We must ensure that these terrible laws do not take effect.”