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Dems having thrown the police under the bus, are scrambling to rebrand before Nov!

Hey, forgive and forget I always say. Err....just kidding, I don't think the police or anyone who's community has been flushed down the toilet by Progressive Policing policy...ergo, sh-tting on cops is going to turn the other cheek this November.


Democrats Punt on Votes Amid Split on Police Funding

Party hopes to counter message that lawmakers are soft on crime


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had planned to hold votes on a package of public-safety bills this week before lawmakers go on break.


By Natalie Andrews and Teresa Mettela, WSJ

Updated July 27, 2022 4:43 pm ET



WASHINGTON—House Democrats are delaying votes on a package of public-safety bills including an assault-weapons ban and funding for police, reflecting disagreements in the party over its stance on law and order headed into the midterm elections.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) had planned to hold votes this week before lawmakers go on break, but splits between the Congressional Black Caucus and progressives on one side and its centrist flank on the other forced a delay Wednesday. The bills aren’t seen as advancing in the evenly divided Senate, making them primarily about signaling the party’s message to voters.


Following a closed-door meeting in Mrs. Pelosi’s office, a senior Democratic aide said the vote would be put off until August, when the chamber is expected to return to consider a prescription-drug proposal. Some Democratic aides said the public-safety package could be pushed until September as negotiations continue.


“For me, it’s not about this bill or this bill, it’s about having a collective position,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D., Ohio), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “It’s not worth us not getting it right.”


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Democrats have been trying to pass policing legislation to counter GOP attacks that they are soft on criminals, trying to fend off a possible Republican takeover of the House in the midterm elections. Democrats have been hurt by President Biden’s low approval ratings, as well as voter concerns about the economy and crime, among other issues.


In the package of bills, Democratic lawmakers are largely in agreement on legislation banning assault-style weapons and helping police address mental-health crises. The main disagreement is over legislation focused on funding police departments, which opponents say should do more to limit the use of force, no-knock warrants and other controversial tactics. A grant program sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.) would help police departments with fewer than 200 officers hire, train and retain staff.


“We know that we do need to fund our law enforcement and we’ve got to give them the tools that they need but we also have to make sure that they are getting the right training and there is accountability,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D., Mich.). “It’s not exclusive.”


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Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and progressives have resisted giving grants to police departments. Many Democrats have pushed for increasing police accountability since May 2020 when George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, setting off nationwide protests about the use of force against Black Americans. Efforts to pass legislation on policing fizzled ahead of the election in 2020. Lawmakers tried again last year but were unsuccessful.


“What we’re going to look at is making sure all communities are safe and that we have accountability for all of our communities, including law enforcement,” said Ms. Beatty.



’For me, it’s not about this bill or this bill, it’s about having a collective position,’ said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D., Ohio), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

PHOTO: ANNA MONEYMAKER/GETTY IMAGES

Americans’ concern about crime and violence in the U.S. has increased in the past year, according to polling by Gallup. For the first time since 2016, a majority of people said they personally worry a “great deal” about crime.


At the same time, police chiefs say they are struggling to keep departments fully staffed as resignations increase and hiring gets tougher in a tight labor market. Officers describe the job as more stressful and less rewarding than it was in the past.


National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Berg said calling Democrats soft on crime will be a central theme in ads this year. On Tuesday, the NRCC released a video of Tyler Kistner, a Republican challenging Democratic Rep. Angie Craig in Minnesota, referencing past calls from some Democrats for defunding the police.


A spokesman for Ms. Craig declined to comment.


In his address on Tuesday to the America First Policy Institute, former President Donald Trump, who is considering another run for the White House in 2024, accused Democrats of trying to “destroy and dismantle law enforcement all throughout America.”


Progressives back bills that would push community-based violence reduction and provide grants to strengthen mental-health response teams.


On Monday, the advocacy group Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights wrote a letter to Mrs. Pelosi and Democratic leadership about its concerns about law-enforcement funding, citing concerns it could lead to more incarceration of minorities without “correspondingly rigorous accountability and oversight provisions.”


Rules Chairman Rep. Jim McGovern (D., Mass.) said there was no rush to introduce policing bills before the August recess. “There’s ways to improve these bills,” he said. “Most likely, we’re going to come back in September. We just want to get all this right.”


Mr. McGovern also said he doesn’t think policing bills need to be tied to gun-control bills.


Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D., Va.), a centrist who proposed a bill to boost officer pay and help departments increase hiring, said: “This conversation is about responding to the public safety concerns of the American people—and it will and must continue.”


Ms. Spanberger, who faces a competitive re-election bid, placed some of the blame for the party’s surprise loss of seats in the House in 2020 on calls by some Democrats to cut police funding.


Write to Natalie Andrews at Natalie.Andrews@wsj.com



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