Dozens of House Dems Vote Against Measure Condemning Calls to Defund Police

Police tape in front of the Capitol (Getty Images)
May 17, 2024

The House on Friday overcame opposition from dozens of Democrats in passing a Republican-led resolution that condemns calls to defund the police.

The resolution, approved in a 337-61 vote, was part of the House Republicans’ National Police Week push to denounce efforts to defund the police and "[express] condolences and solemn appreciation" to family members of officers who died in the line of duty. 

The legislation also highlighted a "lack of accountability for violent criminals with decreased penalties and no-bail policies," which the Republicans said "has opened the door for record criminal activity in cities across the country."

All 61 opposing votes came from Democrats, some of whom have slammed the Police Week initiatives as merely messaging bills, according to The Hill.

"Resolutions that mislead the public about violent crime rates, legislation that increases the availability of deadly weapons in our communities, and bills that fuel xenophobic and anti-immigrant sentiments do not make our communities safer—for our children, for our most vulnerable neighbors, for law enforcement, other first responders, or anyone else," Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.) said in a statement earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Rep. Pete Stauber (R., Minn.), who spearheaded the resolution, said police officers have become "punching bags" and are expected to "take the verbal assault and show up with a smile on their face ready to serve."

Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, on Wednesday accused "Joe Biden and far left failed leadership" of following a "pro-criminal agenda" and compromising the "safety of America’s law enforcement." 

"Lawless liberals handicap our police from doing their jobs with failed bail reform like my home state in New York and pro-criminal policies that appease the far left Democrats’ defund the police agenda," Stefanik added.

The House’s approval of the resolution came after the number of assaults on police officers reached a 10-year high last year. Nearly 80,000 attacks on officers were recorded in 2023, according to FBI data released on Tuesday.