Dem representative Angie Craig became one of 31 Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote against a congressional bill that would allow Washington, D.C. to revise its criminal code, which the district cannot do without approval from Capitol Hill. The revisions were supposed to end mandatory minimum sentences, lower the maximum number of years people can be sentenced for certain crimes and bring back jury trials for suspects in misdemeanor cases.
Democrats usually support such policies — but not this time. The defections to the GOP side were an astonishing development at a time of stark partisan divisions on social issues like policing and education.
An even bigger surprise came on Thursday, when President Biden indicated that he would not support the revisions to D.C.’s criminal code, which the Senate is preparing to consider. Democrats there have a narrow majority, but at least one of them — Joe Manchin of West Virginia — had been expected to endorse the Republican proposal blocking the revisions.
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