Reducing violent crime in major cities is not on the agenda for the House Democrats' "issues conference" being held in Philadelphia, a city experiencing record crime.
The Democrats' retreat is scheduled to begin on Wednesday and run through Friday. Democrats are racing to pass a $1.5 trillion spending bill in the House to avoid a government shutdown before Friday. The legislation was unveiled on Wednesday, and House Democratic leaders are planning to hold a vote on the bill before members leave town for the retreat on the same day.
"Democrats are trying to rush the most massive spending bill in American history through the house ... to board a bus and head to their retreat as soon as possible," Georgia Republican Rep. Jody Hice said.
According to the Philadelphia Police Department, the city has seen a 9% increase in homicides so far this year compared to the time period last year.
The rising crime has taken place under Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who George Soros backed with more than $1 million in campaign contributions. Krasner had to apologize last year for saying the city didn't have a violence crisis.
Homicides were up in major cities in 2021, according to a study published in January 2022.
A top Republican slammed the Democrats for not including rising crime or the gas crisis as issues to discuss at the retreat, which includes a drag queen performance.
"Democrats are headed to a 3 day 'issues' retreat in Philadelphia," Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, wrote on Twitter. "What's not on the agenda? Any mention of gas prices or the crime crisis. What is? A discussion on 'Art and Activism,' a panel with liberal union leaders, and a drag queen performance."
Breakout sessions on the agenda include "A Seat at the Table: The Path Toward Racial Justice and Equity in the Cannabis Industry" with California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee. The plenary session on Thursday is titled "DCCC Presents: How We Win in 2022."
Biden is scheduled to address the retreat on the final day.