House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries says there’s nothing to see when it comes to Democrats seething over President Biden’s flip-flop on legislation overriding an overhaul of the District of Columbia’s criminal code.
The New York Democrat claimed Sunday that the party is “incredibly unified” coming out of an annual retreat despite Mr. Biden pulling an about-face by saying he will support a House-passed effort to overturn a city council measure that would weaken penalties for violent crimes amid a surge in homicides and carjackings.
Democrats are openly fuming at the president, who has long said he supports D.C. statehood and does not support Congress interfering in the city’s decisions.
“That has actually not been the sense that I have gotten,” Mr. Jeffries said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think coming out of the [retreat], we are incredibly unified moving forward.”
Mr. Biden’s change in tune came amid mounting concerns among some Democrats about the GOP’s “soft on crime” attacks. Democrats who voted against the House Republican measure to overturn the District’s new criminal code accused the president of pulling the rug out from under them and said they can no longer trust the White House.
The Republican-led measure is expected to be passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate this week.
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“I’ll continue to support the principle of local government control over local matters,” Mr. Jeffries said. “On the big picture issues and fighting to build an economy that really does work for everyday Americans, we will remain unified, particularly as compared to the extremism on the other side of the aisle.”