Monday, May 22, 2023

Jason Smith: Standing with our men and women in blue

(From Eighth District Congressman Jason Smith)

National Police Week is an important opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to our men and women in blue who serve our communities. 

Here in southern Missouri, we have the utmost respect for our local law enforcement. We know that when an emergency strikes, they will rush in to save lives when everyone else is running away. Southern Missouri is a safe and great place to raise a family thanks to our men and women in blue.

Working in law enforcement isn’t easy. It’s an inherently dangerous – and often thankless – job. Because of that, many law enforcement agencies are facing severe staffing shortages and struggling to get the resources they need to purchase life-saving equipment, conduct training, and more. 

So you would think that we would be doing everything possible to make their jobs easier and more desirable to keep our communities safe. But radical Squad Democrats are actually doing the opposite. At every turn, they choose to demonize the police in their nonsensical quest to defund – or even abolish – law enforcement. It’s stupid, it’s dangerous, and it needs to be strongly opposed.

In honor of National Police Week, House Republicans passed a series of commonsense, pro-law enforcement bills that showed Congress’ support for these heroes. The bills I supported included a resolution memorializing our fallen heroes, a resolution denouncing defunding the police, and a bill to make assaulting a police officer a deportable offense. 

Sounds pretty noncontroversial, right? But with the radical Squad Democrats who now make up the majority of the Washington Democrat party, there was plenty of pushback. We saw 120 Democrats – more than half of the House Democrat Caucus – fail to support a simple resolution denouncing efforts to defund the police. 

In addition, 80% of House Democrats opposed making the crime of assaulting a police officer a deportable offense. Most shamefully, two radical Squad Democrats – including U.S. Representative Cori Bush (Mo.) – couldn’t find it in themselves to support a resolution to honor our fallen heroes. 

This includes law enforcement officers from Missouri, including Bonne Terre Police Officer Lane Burns, whose life was tragically cut short in March 2022. That’s right - Leftists used National Police Week as an opportunity to advance their dangerous defund the police agenda. It’s disgraceful.

Sadly, we’re seeing an alarming rise in violence toward our men and women in blue as a result of the Left’s dangerous rhetoric and push to defund the police. 

In addition, the rise in violence against law enforcement comes at a time when communities across the nation are struggling with a major crime wave. According to the Major Cities Chiefs Association’s 2022 crime report for urban areas across the country, in 2022, homicides were up 13% and aggravated assaults increased by 34% since 2020. The Left’s efforts to make it harder for law enforcement to do their job will lead to more crime in our communities and more violence against our men and women in blue.

I will always be grateful for the many sacrifices law enforcement officers make to save lives and keep our communities safe, and I will NEVER support the radical Squad Democrats’ dangerous defund the police agenda. That’s why I was proud to help pass a series of pro-law enforcement bills during National Police Week. I will continue doing everything I can to ensure our heroic law enforcement officers have the tools, resources, and training they need to do their job.

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