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House panel advances $547 billion surface transportation bill

Jessica Wehrman and Joseph Morton, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

“You can talk a big game about supporting law enforcement, but if you voted no on [the Jan. 6 commission] then you don’t support law enforcement,” said Rep. Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash.

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., said Strickland’s comments “were completely absurd and completely out of line,” calling Jan. 6 “one myopic incident” that reflected a larger, looming division in the country.

And Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., said Republicans opposed the commission because it was “totally political,” and pointed to the fact that Democrats had impeached President Donald Trump before working to craft the commission as evidence.

“It’s like putting someone’s head in a guillotine and then trying to prove whether they’re guilty or innocent after their head’s laying in a basket,” Mast said.

DeFazio and other Democrats argued that stripping NHTSA funding from communities that defunded the police would essentially keep communities from enforcing traffic safety laws at a time when traffic fatalities are at an all-time high.

“I’m going to vote against your amendment,” Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., told Nehls, “because your amendment defunds the police.”

 

But Sam Graves, the ranking member of the committee, said the amendment aimed to discourage cities from defunding police, referencing the movement in some municipalities to shift some law enforcement funding to programs that aim to prevent violent incidents.

“If you choose to defund the police, this amendment says you’re not going to get federal dollars to backfill your police budget,” he said. “You can’t get your cake and eat it too.”

The amendment failed, 31-37.

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