BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, I know normally this hour is taken up with speeches that I think are not bipartisan enough. I have decided to take this time to congratulate President Biden on his decision not to veto the bill we are sending over to him, which will prevent the District of Columbia from decreasing the penalties for severe crimes committed in this city.
I think what President Biden has done is finally recognized what a lot of us have been saying over the last few years. The District of Columbia is just plainly and simply not capable of self-governance at this time. I am glad President Biden agrees with us on that topic.
Right now, the District of Columbia has the second-highest spending per capita in the country on its schools, trailing only New York. Nevertheless, its test scores are abysmal.
The over 200 murders last year in the Nation's Capital is also an embarrassment, and that number has skyrocketed this year so far as of mid-February.
I will tell you, this is the Nation's Capital. There is no city we should care about more than the District of Columbia. It should be a shining light to represent the United States. People come here from all around the world.
I remember once I took a trip to Taipei, the large capital city of Taiwan. I was there with some friends. I asked our tour guide if there was anywhere at night we should not go, expecting there were some places we could not walk to without danger. We were told there was nowhere in Taipei we can't go. Nowhere in Taipei is not safe.
I was kind of embarrassed about my country because I thought, well, I was safe going to Taipei, but if I had visitors coming from Taiwan to Washington, D.C., I would be talking for quite a while, explaining all the places we couldn't go here.
I don't know whether people are aware that Vladimir Putin makes fun of our country for allowing such decline in the District of Columbia, not only how embarrassingly high our crime rate is but how embarrassingly low our test scores in the schools are, how embarrassing it is to have so many homeless people wherever you look.
I hope President Biden builds on this new conversion in which he is admitting the District of Columbia is not capable, apparently, of setting appropriate punishments for crimes here.
I look forward to working with President Biden on perhaps things we can do to improve the decisions by the local school board on their schools, maybe make some changes in their welfare policies that lead to so many homeless people here.
In any event, like I said, I would like to end tonight's speeches on an upbeat message, thanking President Biden for his conversion to the understanding that the people here in the District of Columbia, who, by the way, he is not a perfect man, but they voted 6 percent for Donald Trump in the last election. I kind of wondered what type of people would do that, but they did.
In any event, hopefully, President Biden will be happy to meet with us and think of other things we can do to improve life in our Nation's Capital.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT