The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives has overturned two laws enacted by the D.C. Council.

In successive votes Thursday, the House passed bills eliminating the District’s new criminal code revision and its noncitizen voting rights law. The House voted 250-173 to gut the criminal code revision and 260-173 to push aside the noncitizen voting law.

Thirty-one Democrats voted for the criminal code rewrite gutting while 42 joined the Republicans in eliminating the noncitizen voting law.

According to the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the right to review and change District laws. Congress has done so in the past on approved D.C. legislation and ballot measures on issues such as abortion funding and marijuana legalization and usage.

The House moves are largely symbolic, however, with the Democrat-led U.S. Senate and President Biden unlikely to approve the bills.

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), who didn’t support the criminal code revisions, nevertheless criticized the House’s actions on that bill and the noncitizen voting measure.

“We don’t want any interference on our local laws,” Bowser said, The Associated Press reported.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said Congress has no business interfering in District affairs.

“D.C.’s local legislature, the D.C. Council has 13 members,” the venerable Democrat said, AP reported. “The members are elected by D.C. residents. Eight members are elected by geographic area and five members are elected at large. If D.C. residents do not like how the members vote, they can vote them out of office. I will close with two final thoughts. D.C. residents, a majority of whom are Black and Brown, are worthy and capable of governing themselves. It is true Congress has absolute power over D.C. But that does not make right.”  

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