Democrats Block a Resolution to Oppose Defunding the Police, as Cities Face Increased Violence

June 26, 2020 Updated: June 26, 2020

House Democrats Thursday night blocked Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) resolution which opposes defunding police departments, particularly at a time when American cities are facing increased crime, rioting, looting, and vandalism.

After the Democrats’ George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 passed the House, along party lines, Steube urged the House members to consider his resolution that calls for peace, legal action against violent protests, and opposes vilifying police.

“Everyone in this chamber wants justice for George Floyd and his family. And they will get that, in a court of law, where justice belongs,” Steube said.

The Florida Congressman and other House Republicans called on their Democratic colleagues to condemn the violence against persons, property, and law enforcement and said that the just-passed police reform bill would not solve the problem of violence in those communities they wish to serve.

Steube addressed the violence occurring throughout the United States with dozens of historic landmarks having been defaced and toppled by vandals and property burned to the ground.

“Defunding the police won’t solve any problems and only poses an extraordinary risk to our citizens who depend on society’s most basic governmental service of protecting life and property. This is nothing more than an outburst of political emotion and a willingness to take advantage of civil unrest,” said Steube.

The congressman’s resolution calls for justice for George Floyd and it supports the rights of citizens to peacefully protest. It calls for justice for police officers who have been attacked by rioters and condemns violence, rioting, looting, and vandalism.

A resolution is not a law but is a declaration issued to unite the governing body under one opinion or purpose. The resolution urges peace to be restored and calls on criminal activities to be prosecuted under the law.

Far-left Democrats like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) have called on defunding and dismantling the police department. In addition, no Democrat lawmaker has publicly condemned the violence happening in cities around the country.

Omar said at a recent protest against the killing of George Floyd that she will not cosign on any bill that will allow police to brutalize her community. “I will never stop saying, not only do we need to invest for employees, but we need to completely dismantle the Minneapolis police department.”

Additionally, the resolution strongly opposes autonomous zones with in the United States and any effort to defund, dismantle, or disband police departments.

The city of Seattle, Washington saw the first autonomous zone emerge, from the protest and rioting and has seen 4 people shot within its boundaries.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) has called for decreased policing in her district, which Seattle is a part of and said, “we have money in the justice and policing act to help black communities and brown communities across the country, do exactly this, reimagine what safety for all looks like.”

She said it might include police sometimes, but it might include mental health workers and others more suited to deal with the calls for first responders.

Rep. Steube pointed to the fact that the cities with the most trouble in their police force are run by Democratic mayors.

“All of these departments with all of these problems and issues are all run by Democratic commissions, and Democratic city councils. This is not a federal issue, this is a Minneapolis police issue or an Atlanta police issue, or a Ferguson issue, or a Chicago issue, where just this past weekend, they had one of the most violent weekends over Father’s day weekend,” said Steube.

“This is an issue with Democratic leadership in these cities who have failed to keep up with standards training and protocol, some of these departments have training standards dating back to the 80s,” he added.

The vast majority of Republicans voted against the Justice in Policing Act, because they said it would affect their district’s police departments but said that they had no input into creating the legislation. Many also said the bill would weaken the effectiveness of the police and lead to more violence in communities.

“If the Democratic majority truly wants to reform our police departments and if they truly want to fix the problems, then the focus should be on the agencies with the problems and their leadership. Not passing a progressive messaging bill in an election year that you know has no chance at becoming law.”

U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), introduced the same resolution in the Senate in early June.

“We know that violent crime disproportionally affects low-income communities, and that law enforcement plays a critical role in protecting life and preserving a free and functioning society,” Sen. Cruz said.

“We also know that law enforcement has an important responsibility in upholding our criminal justice system. Though our nation has taken many troubled turns on our continuing march towards justice, defunding and abolishing police departments will undoubtedly take us backwards in that endeavor,” Cruz added.