May 11, 2023

Congresswoman Bush Statement on Republicans’ Empty Public Safety Messaging Bills


WATCH: Bush says“the Party of Insurrection has zero credibility when it comes to protecting law enforcement”


Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2023) — The House Judiciary Committee held a markup today ahead of “National Police Week” next week. At a time when police violence is at an all-time high and our communities need real solutions for public safety, House Republicans decided to put forward hollow and hypocritical messaging bills that not only fail to invest in our communities, but mask the fact that MAGA Republican policies are responsible for fanning the flames of violence in this country.


As I said in the hearing room, today’s markup was a farce. Nobody should listen to anything the Party of Insurrection has to say when it comes to respecting law enforcement or promoting public safety, given the events of January 6 and Republicans’ disgraceful positions on gun safety policies that are responsible for enabling the gun violence epidemic in our country. Republicans spent all day pretending to care about law enforcement, but they didn’t spend a single minute considering a real policy solution that would prevent violence and effectively manage crisis situations in communities like St. Louis. I, alongside many of my Democratic colleagues, have introduced several pieces of legislation like the People’s Response Act that would make necessary investments in our constituents and communities. But at the end of the day, the GOP refuses to consider them because they are unserious about governing. We are intent on advancing evidence-based solutions that would achieve true accountability and community safety nationwide.


Below are Congresswoman Bush’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, in response to H. Con. Res. 40, a Republican-led resolution filled with falsehoods and Fox News talking points designed to distract from Republicans’ failures on public safety and targeting of law enforcement agencies that seek to hold them and Donald Trump accountable for their criminal behavior. 






Congresswoman Cori Bush

House Judiciary Committee Markup on H. Con. Res. 40

May 10, 2023



I move to strike the last word.


Thank you, Chairman. St. Louis and I are here today in support of genuine community safety and in opposition to hollow, hypocritical attempts to distract from policies that make our communities less safe.


That’s exactly what this resolution is: an empty and desperate ploy by Republicans to avoid responsibility for policies they support that are getting people killed in St. Louis and around the country. 


So let’s set the record straight on a few things. First off, the Party of Insurrection has zero credibility — zero credibility — when it comes to protecting law enforcement officers. It was a Republican president who incited the January 6 insurrection and coup attempt because he refused to accept that he lost the 2020 election. It was Republican politicians who enabled January 6 by peddling lies about the election. And it was a mob who supported these Republicans that stormed the Capitol and violently assaulted law enforcement officers. If Republicans cared about violence against law enforcement, they would be marking up a resolution condemning themselves.


But the fact is that Republicans don’t care about violence against law enforcement, and they really don’t care about law enforcement at all. They will support any number of abuses that law enforcement inflicts on communities like St. Louis, but as soon as a law enforcement agency takes a single step towards holding them and their cult leader Donald Trump responsible for their criminal behavior, that agency becomes Public Enemy Number One. So Republicans don’t care about law enforcement; they support mass incarceration for Black and brown communities and freedom from accountability for themselves.


And it is sickening to hear Republican politicians talk about public safety while they contribute to the crisis of violence in this country. As I have pointed out many times in this Committee, the states with the weakest gun laws — like my home state of Missouri — have Republican legislatures and governors and the highest rates of gun violence in our country. Republicans also take every opportunity they get to spread fear and distrust in our communities. These moral and policy failures have resulted in firearms flooding municipalities that are unable to override the state-level policies and an American public that is on a hair-trigger and primed for violence.


So let’s get it straight: Republicans are the arsonists, not the firefighters. They don’t get to enable violent insurrection and rampant gun violence and police brutality, and then show up and pretend like we should listen to anything they say about policing and public safety. It’s a farce and a distraction from policies that would actually save lives.


Those policies do not invest in violence; they invest in communities. They recognize that we will never incarcerate our way to safety. They support non-police first responders, mental health and counseling resources, community-based employment programs, community violence prevention and interruption programs, after-school programs, substance use treatment programs, public health and other wrap-around services, affordable food, and housing, more parks and green spaces, and re-entry programs. And that’s just to name a few!


That’s exactly why I introduced the People’s Response Act, which would establish a Division of Community Safety within the Department of Health and Human Services to research and fund evidence-based strategies that are proven to prevent violence and effectively manage crisis situations. Unlike these Fox News talking point bills, the PRA is a real proposal with real solutions that would save lives in St. Louis and nationwide. 


And it’s not the only proposal that adopts a community-based approach to public safety. Many of my Democratic colleagues have introduced proposals that would break the cycle of violence, invest in mental health resources, support counselors not criminalization, ensure housing for all, and support other non-carceral interventions that will make a material difference in people’s lives.


But we’re not here today to consider real solutions that will make people’s lives better. We’re here as a distraction from the sad truth that dangerous MAGA Republican policies make us less safe. They deprive us of basic investments that would move us closer to genuine community safety. And at the end of the day, Republicans refuse to consider those investments because Republicans are not seeking solutions to this problem — they are the problem.


I yield back.