Biden Often Touted His Crime Bill, But Now Says He 'Got Stuck' Writing It

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Posted: Apr 12, 2019 4:00 PM
Biden Often Touted His Crime Bill, But Now Says He 'Got Stuck' Writing It

Source: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Former Vice President Joe Biden has affectionately dubbed the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act as the "1994 Biden Crime Bill." What can explain, then, his sudden sprint from the legislation? Perhaps because it's no longer politically expedient for a 2020 Democratic contender.

The New York Times predicted in 2015 that Biden's role in the crime bill could doom any future presidential aspirations. The legislation mandated life sentences for people with two or more prior convictions found to have committed a violent felony, provided billions of dollars for new prisons, criminalized gang membership, etc. Biden was among the Democrats pushing for the bill at a time when their party was accused of being "soft on crime."

The editors spoke with members of the African-American community, who were most affected by the crime bill.

“Many of us who grew up in the black community in the ’90s,” said Patrisse Cullors, a political organizer and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, “we witnessed the wave in which the policies that came from both federal government but also local government tore our families apart.”

“I think that any person coming to office who was really a part of that is going to have to deal with a large amount of criticism from those who were affected by this policy,” she said.

Presumably with race being such a hot topic right now, Biden is distancing himself from the "1994 Biden Crime Bill."

The former VP insisted he “got stuck” writing the crime bill because of his role as chairman of the Judiciary Committee during an event at the Silfen Forum in Philadelphia on the opioid epidemic on Friday.


"I got stuck with it because I was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, writing most of the drug legislation that occurred in that period," he claimed. "The big mistake was that I was buying into the idea that crack-cocaine was different than powdered cocaine and having penalties should be eliminated."

Of course, this isn't the only scandal Biden has been fielding. His overly friendly interactions with men and women were spotlighted last month after a Democratic politician accused him of inappropriately touching the back of her head. Biden has also faced heat for how he handled Anita Hill's testimony against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in the 1990s.