WASHINGTON - Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01) opened today's Full Committee Hearing titled, “Safety on Capitol Hill: DC Crime’s Impact on Congressional Operations and Visitors.”

Chairman Steil's full opening statement as prepared for delivery: 

DC crime is out of control.

Anyone who lives in DC or visits DC has seen the impact weak crime policies have on public safety.

In recent years, the DC City Council has taken a variety of steps that have weakened the city’s crime laws requiring Congress to step in.

In 2020, the DC Council cut $15 million from the Metropolitan Police Department budget.

Simultaneously, the Council repeatedly passed temporary emergency policies that restricted police officers’ authority and changed the DC criminal code.

For the first time in 30 years, Congress had to act and nullify a DC law because it was so ridiculous.

Crime in DC is so bad that President Biden was shamed into reversing his veto threat.

Months later the House and Senate had to act again.

We passed another resolution to overturn the antipolice polices implemented by the DC Council.

Unfortunately, President Biden vetoed this bill.

This was a missed opportunity, as today DC crime continues to remain a problem.

In my home state of Wisconsin, I hear from countless families who are concerned with crime and the policies we have in place.

Last Spring, Wisconsin adopted a new amendment to our state’s constitution relating to bail reform.

This amendment came as concern for public safety and crime continued to increase.

The same can be said for Capitol Hill today.


I hear from visitors and staff alike who share their concerns about crime in our nation’s capital.

Capitol Hill, specifically Ward 6 which encompasses the Capitol complex, has seen an increase in violent crime in the past four years.

I’d like to note for the committee record that we invited Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen to our discussion today.

The Committee made several attempts, but unfortunately Mr. Allen did not answer our requests to participate in our hearing today.

As Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, I’m committed to ensuring our nation’s capital and surrounding area is safe for every American family.

I think we can all agree - whether you’re here for a tour of the Capitol, or to meet with your representative, every visitor deserves to feel safe.


Each year, the Capitol Visitor Center by itself welcomes an estimated 2.5 million visitors.

However, In the last year we have seen a dramatic increase in crime in Washington, DC, particularly near the Capitol campus.

Let’s examine the numbers.

In 2023, violent crime was up 39% year-over-year in the district.

There were over 6,800 motor vehicle thefts in DC.

There were 959 carjackings compared to 485 carjackings in 2022, a 97% increase.

For context, there were 152 carjackings in 2019.


In Ward 6 specifically, which includes the U.S. Capitol, there have been over 150 robberies in the past six months and 350 vehicles stolen.

Last year, two of my colleagues were victims of crime.

In September, I hosted a Security Briefing where we heard from two staff members who were mugged at gun point just down the street.

These individuals shared their stories about the dangers of violent crime and the need to stay vigilant.

Each of these statistics represents a visitor, staffer, or Member of Congress.

As the Committee on House Administration, we are tasked with oversight of Capitol campus security.


Rising crime in our nation’s capital, particularly near the complex, has constrained resources for US Capitol Police and the Sergeant at Arms.

US Capitol Police must now devote more of their resources to increased threats against the Hill community.

These resources may otherwise be spent on the U.S. Capitol Police’s obligations and its mission.

As crime continues to remain a serious threat and concern for members, staff, and visitors, I'm focused on finding ways we can reduce violent crime near the Capitol campus.

Today, I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about how violent crime threatens U.S. Capitol security.We will explore the impact soft-on-crime policies have on public safety.

And we must discuss how we can ensure the Capitol is a safe and secure place for all visitors and staffers.

As Chairman, I’m committed to making Capitol Hill a safe place for everyone to visit and to work.