On Thursday (March 2), President Joe Biden revealed he wouldn’t veto a bill championed by the GOP to undo certain aspects of the District of Columbia crime bill, a glimpse of how the White House is attempting to navigate a politically fraught environment on how to target crime.
This decision is causing Biden to be in a bind.
If he were to veto the legislation, Biden would face backlash from the GOP for being soft on crime.
But, by signing the resolution, he has incurred abuse from Democrats, who believe he betrayed them after they opposed the legislation in line with what they considered the White House wanted.
According to reporting by The Hill, citing an unnamed Democratic lawmaker, Democratic lawmakers believe Biden’s move has caused them to be “hung out to dry.”
Despite the Democratic backlash, 31 House Democrats have joined the Republican-led House to pass the legislation, which the Democratic-led Senate will likely pass through a bi-partisan vote as early as next week.
Democrats wanting to side with the White House drove their opposition to the GOP’s bill.
Although Biden chose not to oppose the bill, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explained that Biden “believes in… making sure that the streets in America and communities across the country are safe,” including in D.C.
Jean-Pierre added that the bill “is really lowering penalties for car-jacking,” noting that Biden “doesn’t believe that’s going to keep our communities safe.”
However, Jean-Pierre wouldn’t comment on whether there were any 2024 ramifications Biden considered when making the decision.