I commend the men and women in law enforcement who keep our communities safe every day. They have an important job to do, and I firmly believe giving law enforcement officials (LEOs) the ability to correctly do their jobs, with safety, is crucial to their success and to maintaining peace in our neighborhoods. Idaho “backs the blue,” and I am working hard to promote this philosophy in Congress.
I have consistently opposed legislation put forward by Democrats that hinders our LEOs’ ability protect our communities. I voted against H.R. 1280, the Justice in Policing Act, which would mandate a blanket ban of certain law enforcement techniques, establish an overly broad national registry for police misconduct, and dangerously lower legal standards to pursue criminal and civil penalties for police misconduct. Unfortunately, Democrats rejected efforts to achieve a bipartisan solution to police misconduct, and instead developed a bill that could impede the ability of good police officers to keep our communities safe and could ultimately have adverse effects on public safety.
In order to provide state and local law enforcement with the resources they need, I supported H.R. 2471, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, which:
- Provided $246 million in State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance.
- Provided $53 million for competitive grants within the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). One of COPS’ duties is to assist state, local, and tribal governments in hiring LEOs. As you may know, many law enforcement offices across the nation are struggling to hire and retain officers.
- Provided $112 million for State and Local law enforcement services to update their technology and equipment.
- Provided $2.4 billion in funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which coordinates with state and local law enforcement to remove dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine and fentanyl off our streets.
I also recently cosponsored H.R. 3079, the Protect and Serve Act. Introduced by Rep. John Rutherford, R-Florida, this legislation would raise the minimum penalty for knowingly assaulting a law enforcement officer across a state line or on a federal roadway to ten years imprisonment and a fine. According to FBI data, attacks on law enforcement have been at an all-time high, and the aim of this legislation is to create a deterrent and reverse this trend.
In the 117th Congress, I have used my position on the House Committee on Appropriations to approve legislation that gives our LEOs the tools and training they need to protect and serve our communities. I have also voted against any attempt from Democrats to strip federal law enforcement programs. I understand that any attempt to defund the police both jeopardizes our LEOs and endangers our communities, and I will continue to prioritize support for state and local law enforcement during my time in Congress.