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April 17, 2023 | In The News

Biden Vows to Veto GOP Bills Rolling Back D.C. Police Reform, Protecting Sex-Segregated Sports

National Review – On Monday, President Joe Biden has signaled he will veto Republican-led bills on D.C. police and transgender athletes if they reach his desk.

The White House released two statements of administration policy opposing the bills, which could come to a vote on the House floor as soon as this week. Both votes would put House Democrats in a difficult spot, having to put themselves on the record on both of these hot-button issues.

The first, H.J. Res. 42, is a disapproval resolution that nullifies the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act, which D.C. passed in 2022. House Republicans introduced the resolution early in March, just after Congress had disapproved of a separate D.C. crime bill that would have lightened penalties for crimes such as carjackings and burglaries.

“Congress should respect the District of Columbia’s right to pass measures that improve public safety and public trust,” explained the White House, despite the fact that Biden signed the other D.C. disapproval resolution.

“While President Biden does not support every provision of the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022, he will not support congressional Republicans’ efforts to overturn commonsense police reforms such as: banning chokeholds; limiting use of force and deadly force; improving access to body-worn camera recordings; and requiring officer training on de-escalation and use of force,” the statement added.

The D.C. package of police accountability measures was initiated in 2020 after the death of George Floyd. For Representatives Andrew Garbarino (R., N.Y.) and Andrew Clyde (R., Ga.), the disapproval resolution is needed because the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has faced a mass exodus of police officers and has struggled to recruit new officers — resulting in a historic staffing shortage.

“It’s time to say enough is enough and push back on the anti-police narrative, starting here in our nation’s capital,” said Garbarino in a statement.

The second bill the White House opposes is H.R. 734, which will clarify Title IX to make it a violation for federally funded education programs or activities to operate, sponsor, or facilitate athletic programs or activities that allow individuals of the male sex to participate in programs or activities that are designated for women or girls.

“Last Spring, Sarasota’s own, Emma Weyant, was robbed of her NCAA Championship in the 500 Freestyle by a biological male, Lia Thomas. Floridians and Americans across the country are rightly outraged at what has become of women’s sports. We’ve seen time and time again how the far left only favors fairness when it aligns with their woke agenda. That’s why today, I’m pleased reintroduce legislation that ensures women and girls a fair playing field in competitive sports,” explained the bill’s sponsor, Representative Greg Steube (R., Fl.), in a February statement.

The Biden administration has already proposed a rule based on Title IX, which bars discrimination in education “on the basis of sex.” The rule is diametrically opposed to the House’s effort, making it illegal to discriminate against trans athletes. The White House reiterated its position in a statement Monday.

“As a national ban that does not account for competitiveness or grade level, H.R. 734 targets people for who they are and therefore is discriminatory,” the statement read. “At a time when transgender youth already face a nationwide mental health crisis, with half of transgender youth in a recent survey saying they have seriously considered suicide, a national law that further stigmatizes these children is completely unnecessary, hurts families and students, and would only put students at greater risk.”