Sep 27, 2023  |  
 | Remer,MN
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM 
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM 
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM 
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM Craft Personalized Messages With Ease! Wish It? Text It!
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM Craft Personalized Messages With Ease! Wish It? Text It!
Cami Mondeaux, Breaking News Reporter

NextImg:House Republican introduces bill to flip funding in DC from stoves to crime

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) introduced a bill seeking to overrule a D.C. Council proposal to replace gas stoves, marking the latest battle over local lawmakers' autonomy in the nation's capital.

Johnson introduced the Divert Important Services to Recovery in Criminal Trends Act, or DISTRICT Act, earlier this week, seeking to overturn a recent bill from D.C. lawmakers that would incentivize residents to replace their gas stoves with electric ones. The Ohio Republican criticized the proposal, arguing city lawmakers should instead focus on rising crime rates in the district.


"Unfortunately, Councilmember Charles Allen is losing touch with reality; he believes gas stoves are a bigger threat to the public than violent crime and is actively ignoring pleas from Washington's residents, visitors, and even Mayor Muriel Bowser to revise the lenient criminal code and keep the city safe," Johnson said. "We cannot stand back and allow the nation's capital to be overrun with criminals while D.C. City Councilmembers continue down this path of dangerous lunacy."

The move comes after Allen introduced a bill last week seeking to use federal funding from President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act to allow D.C. homes making less than $80,000 a year to install electric stoves and heating systems at no cost. The proposal would also ban D.C. Housing from installing gas stoves and heating appliances on its new properties.

Allen emphasized a need to shift to electric appliances, citing reports that show gas stoves and heating systems can contribute to the poor air quality inside homes and can cause respiratory problems. Furthermore, the council chairman noted a switch would help Washington, D.C., reach its goals of reducing carbon emissions in the district to "mitigate the worst-case scenarios for climate change."

"It is rare to have a moment where making a change like this is the right call on so many fronts: we can ensure that residents can afford to have cleaner air in their homes, lower their household energy bills, and the upgrades to their homes will be much, much better for the environment overall," Allen said in a statement.

Johnson criticized Allen for the proposal, accusing the council chairman of ignoring more significant threats to the district — such as increasing crime rates. Instead, the DISTRICT Act would reallocate federal funding from going toward replacing gas stoves to instead combat the crime surge in Washington, D.C.

The bill would specifically put funding toward the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, a federal project that funnels funding to local jurisdictions to deal with crime.

Johnson's bill comes after the House passed a resolution to overturn an overhaul of D.C.'s century-old criminal code that softens the punishment for homicide, robberies, and carjackings. The D.C. Council overwhelmingly approved the overhaul last year, raising concerns from some congressional Republicans who said it left the district susceptible to violent crimes.

The rewritten legislation sought to clarify and redefine penalties for criminal offenses, with several lawmakers arguing severe punishments often do not deter crime. The rewrite included provisions that would eliminate most mandatory minimum sentences, establish jury trials for nearly all misdemeanor cases, and reduce the maximum penalties for crimes such as carjackings or robberies.

Several House Republicans denounced the bill, arguing it amounted to "insanity."

"Our nation's capital belongs to all of us, but because of rising violent crime, my constituents tell me they are fearful of visiting their capital city," Johnson said. "The Washington D.C. City Council, with Councilmember Charles Allen at the forefront, has proposed radical changes to D.C.'s criminal code, making it easier for criminals to inflict harm on innocent victims."


The House vote to overturn the D.C. criminal code overhaul represents a larger battle between Congress and district lawmakers, who argue they should have complete autonomy over their own laws.

Under the Home Rule, district lawmakers are given the ability to pass and enforce their own laws through the D.C. Council. But because Washington, D.C., is not a state, all laws are subject to congressional approval — inspiring some Republicans to strip the city of that power, putting D.C. affairs under their jurisdiction.

Note: You can use @chatbot mention tag to interact with ChatGPT language model in comments. Neither your comment, nor the generated responses will appear in "Comments" or "News & Views" streams.