House Democrats Pass Defund Police Bill, Gooden The Lone Republican Vote
As expected, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday. The vote came down along party lines, with Texas Rep. Lance Gooden (R) being the only Republican to vote in favor of the measure anti-police measure.
Rep. Gooden, who says he “accidentally” pressed the wrong button, can expect to be primary challenged in 2022 for backing a bill that former President Donald Trump urged legislators to vote against.
The worst components of the measure are that it opens up police officers to civil litigation as it would make limitations to “qualified immunity” when used as a defense to liability and that it defunds police agencies.
- lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,
- limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer or state correctional officer, and
- authorizes the Department of Justice to issue subpoenas in investigations of police departments for a pattern or practice of discrimination.
A visibly emotional Rep. Chip Roy (R) spoke on the floor of the House blistering the bill as a measure that strips police officers of the protection or “qualified immunity” they currently have.
“We’re on the floor of the House Representatives with a bill gutting the qualified immunity that helps protect our law enforcement officers without so much of the hearing,” stated Rep. Roy.
"I could go on and on 113 times. The names of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, who were killed, last year in 2020. 113."
Rep. Roy's full floor speech on Democrats' "sham" anti-police bill: pic.twitter.com/Zw5lc8DrsY
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) March 4, 2021
Democrats were divided on supporting defund police legislation, but apparently, the caucus has put aside their differences (elections have consequences) and have come together to pass this bill.
The bill all but handcuffs law enforcement agencies as it creates a national registry that would compile date on police officers as it pertains to complaints and all records, including police misconduct incidents.
The House policing bill is dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate, but House Democrats know this, and are surely expecting to negotiate the bill, and hope to get as much out of it as possible.
Democrats continue to push the Progressive agenda President Joe Biden campaigned on during the 2020 general election. Next up: H.R. 1 —The election reform bill.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has threatened to defund local municipalities if they defund police.