As prepared for delivery:
Our business today is to consider two bills. The first I’ll discuss is H.R. 734, the Protection of Women and Girls In Sports Act of 2023.
H.R. 734 will amend Title IX to protect the rights of women and girls to fully participate and fairly compete in women’s sports programs that are operated, sponsored, or facilitated by a recipient of federal funding. It will safeguard a level playing field for female athletes, and will ensure that women and girls have full access to the athletic opportunities they deserve.
Protecting the rights of women and girls to fully and fairly participate in their chosen sports is unfortunately necessary. Just this month, the Biden Administration moved to advance a radical regulatory scheme, which forbids bans on transgender athletes under Title IX. Twisting the meaning of law to suit progressive ideas at the expense of fairness and opportunity for girls and women in sports is wrong.
This bill shouldn’t be partisan. Its premise is simple: recognizing biology. Girls and women participating in sports exemplify the hard work, grit, and passion it takes to play. We want the integrity of that competition upheld.
Our second measure is H.J. Res. 42, a joint resolution of disapproval of a law passed by the District of Columbia Council. Under the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, laws passed by the D.C. Council are subject to Congressional review, and will not take effect if Congress passes and the President signs into law a joint resolution of disapproval.
In this case, H.J. Res. 42 would disapprove of the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022, another radical piece of legislation that will make it harder for the District of Columbia to recruit and retain police officers at a time when crime is skyrocketing across the nation’s Capital.
If allowed to become law, the act in question would place undue burdens on the D.C. police force, hampering their ability to perform law enforcement duties, as well as create mechanisms for activists and anti-police groups to unjustifiably target individual officers.
The D.C. Metro Police Department is already struggling to retain officers, with almost 1,200 officers, nearly a third of the force, having departed over the last three years. At the same time, crime rates have spiked, with overall crime rates up twenty-three percent from 2022 to 2023, homicide rates up thirty-one percent in 2023, and motor vehicle theft up a whopping one hundred seven percent in 2023.
With safety a growing concern in the nation’s Capital, and the D.C. Metro Police Department already in dire straits, this is hardly the time for the D.C. Council to pursue another piece of legislation that will make it harder to recruit or retain officers and limit law enforcement tools vital to public and officer safety. D.C. residents have the same expectations of public safety as do citizens of any other municipality in America, and it is appropriate for Congress to exercise its constitutional and statutory authority to prevent this misguided bill from becoming law.