On Thursday (May 18), the House passed a resolution condemning recent efforts to defund or eliminate the police despite the opposition of more than half of House Democrats.
Lawmakers passed the non-binding resolution, 301-119. The resolution recognizes “the dedication and devotion” of local enforcement, keeping communities safe while condemning calls to “defund, disband, disband, demolish, dismantle, or abolish the police.”
Every “no” vote opposing the resolution came from Democrats, and as a group, Democrats voted 87 in favor to 117 against the initiative.
Three Democrats voted “present,” with all but two Republicans voting in favor of the initiative.
During the debate, Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, rejected the bill.
Nadler described the resolution as “nothing more than empty rhetoric to score political points.”
Democrats also opposed the language used within the resolution, which blamed “leftist activists and progressive politicians” for calling to defund and dismantle local police departments and for “actively [encouraging] resentment toward local law enforcement.”
Nadler asserted the resolution talks about violence on the left but didn’t mention violence on the right, noting that the bill did not address how police helped restore order during the January 6 Capitol riots.
He declared the resolution is “not a balanced or fair.”
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, shared her resentment toward “the characterization that we progressives do not support law enforcement,” stating that progressives only want “accountability” in communities so that Black and Brown people “can walk down the street and feel safe.”
Republican Rep. Ken Buck (Colo.), the resolution’s lead sponsor, rebutted Jayapal’s claims by reciting quotes she’d made to the press that call for “a complete transformation of policing.”
Republican Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.) also pointed out how Nadler had previously called for “substantial cuts to the police budget” in New York.