As the more Progressive faction of the House Democratic Caucus continues to press for “defund police” legislation, Republicans like Texas Rep. Troy Nehls is doing the exact opposite, and has revived Article 1 of the controversial 1994 Crime bill by filing a legislative measure—The Public Safety Enhancement Act of 2021— a bipartisan measure to fund and increase law enforcement officers across the nation.
During a sit-down interview with Rep. Nehls in his legislative office in Washington, D.C., Rep Nehls said he would not have voted for the 1994 then-Senator Joe Biden-supported “bad bill” because of all the “anti-2nd Amendment” that was included in the bill when it passed.
“I would have voted NO on this bill…but I agree with Article 1,” said Rep. Nehls, adding that his bill would only “reauthorized the funding to add 100.000 cops for the next 5 years.”
Nehls, continued, saying that “There is a lot of anti-Police rhetoric out there, and as a former lawman, I’m all about supporting the men and women in blue” before posing the question, “Why wouldn’t they (Democrats) support it?”
In an official written statement from Nehls’s press office, the freshman congressman expressed that the “rule of law” was at the very “cornerstone of our country.”
“Crime has ravaged our streets for far too long and it has compromised the safety of Americans,” said Congressman Nehls. “Rule of law is the cornerstone of our country, without it we fail to have a country. It has never been more important to enforce and enhance public safety. Our nation’s law enforcement departments are currently struggling amid a national crisis. They face an unprecedented rise in violent crime and a severe problem recruiting and hiring qualified police officers and deputies. This bill would reverse this troubling and ongoing trend and secure our streets.”
Many communities are seeing alarming increases in violent crime and drug overdose deaths. According to the FBI, overall violent crime was up 5.6% in 2020. The overall murder rate in the U.S. has increased by nearly 30%, the largest increase in over a century. In the 12-month period ending in April, over 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. The bill would attempt to address the recent crime surge we are seeing in communities across America.
The bill was filed to address the dramatic increase in crime across the nation, including 30% jump in murders, and the rise (5.6%) in other violent crimes.
Some 78% of Americans agree that the crime rate in America is out of control.
Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) is currently the only Democrat to sign on the police funding bill.
The bill has received original cosponsors from Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Reps. Don Young (R-AK), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Brian Babin (R-TX), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), John Carter (R-TX), Brain Mast (R-TX), David Rouzer (R-TX), and Randy Weber (R-TX).