Daily Leader
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. 10:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Complete Consideration of H.R. 6691 – Community Safety and Security Act of 2018 (Rep. Handel – Judiciary) (One hour of debate).  This bill, which has received no Committee action or debate, would have dangerous ramifications with respect to several aspects of federal law. Just days after dropping this bill, Republican leadership is rushing this bill to the Floor for political purposes.  With just a couple months until the midterm elections, Republicans are only interested in political posturing instead of passing meaningful, thoroughly vetted legislation that would enhance community safety.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled in Sessions v. Dimaya that the current definition of “crime of violence” in 18 U.S.C. 16(b) is unconstitutionally vague and does not comport with due process. H.R. 6691 would redefine “crime of violence” in title 18 U.S.C. 16 by specifying that the term includes a long list of offenses, some of which are existing federal crimes, some of which describe offenses not currently codified in federal criminal law, and some of which would expand existing federal crimes that Congress has never previously considered.  Some of these offenses include conduct that may not even be violent, or which could be targeted in a biased manner.  Defining “crime of violence” in the manner that H.R. 6691 proposes is dangerous and has potentially serious ramifications for any American who comes into contact with our nation’s criminal justice system, including expanding the offenses for which juveniles can be prosecuted as adults and negatively impacting sentencing and rehabilitation.  Instead of focusing on the apprehension of violent criminals, H.R. 6691 would ensnare any number of citizens and lawful permanent residents who commit minor offenses. If enacted, H.R. 6691 would redefine “crimes of violence” to include such non-violent offenses as shoplifting or failing to stop a motor vehicle following a law enforcement officer’s signal.

At a time when comprehensive criminal justice reform enjoys strong support across the political spectrum, H.R. 6691 works against the goal of legislating commonsense reform that restores discretion to the federal judiciary, effectively distinguishes between violent crime and lesser offenses, and protects the due process rights of every person.  In addition, H.R. 6691 would lead to an increase in immigration detentions and deportations for minor and even questionable offenses because the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) cross-references the provisions in 18 U.S.C. 16 that the bill redefines.   House Republicans appear to be exploiting their party’s anti-immigration sentiment to advance changes to the U.S. Criminal Code that would harm not only immigrants but all Americans who come into contact with the criminal justice system and set back the cause for criminal justice reform.  

Instead of working with House Democrats, Republican leadership is rushing this bill to the Floor without any input from stakeholders or criminal justice experts, which could have devastating consequences on communities across America.  With fewer than nine legislative days left until the government runs out of funding, House Republicans are wasting valuable time on partisan bills.  House Democrats should reject this half-baked, hastily constructed piece of legislation and urge Republicans to come to the table to craft bipartisan legislation that will actually help the American people. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
“If it was up to me, I’d shut down the government…”

    -     President Donald J. Trump, 9/7/2018