Republicans are putting Senate Democrats in a difficult spot as the chamber prepares to vote on whether to strike down an overhaul of D.C.'s century-old criminal code.
The Senate GOP is hoping to force a vote on the updated code, which softens the punishment for homicide, robberies, and carjackings, as soon as next week, opening Democrats up to attacks of being soft on crime should they choose to oppose the GOP's repeal. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is unable to block the measure despite Democrats controlling the upper chamber, making the vote a rare opportunity for the GOP to put senators in battleground states on record on the issue.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), considered to be one of the most vulnerable senators heading into 2024, became the first Democrat to back the legislation publicly on Monday.
“I don’t support [the criminal code overhaul]. I mean, I want to put people away. I don’t want to let them out,” Manchin told CNN. “I haven’t been briefed on it, but what I know about it, I would vote to rescind it.”