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The Leader’s Floor Lookout: Week of May 13, 2024

Here’s what to watch for on the House Floor this week:
Denouncing Biden’s Hold on Shipment of Critical Weapons to Israel

Since the barbaric October 7th terrorist attacks committed by Hamas against Israel that claimed the lives of over 1,200 Israelis and was the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust, Israel has been under constant threat. Last month, Iran fired over 300 missiles and drones at Israel in an unprecedented and unjustified attack. Hamas continues to hold up to around 130 hostages of the over 240 they took on October 7th and wage war on Israel’s right to exist.

On Saturday, April 20, the House passed legislation to replenish Israel’s critical defensive systems, including the Iron Dome and David’s Sling, and provide additional weapons and munitions to Israel for their continued defense from terrorist groups and hostile actors in the region – legislation that President Biden signed into law.

Last week, however, President Biden threatened to withhold weapons and munitions from Israel if they entered Rafah, a major Hamas stronghold in Gaza, in order to appease radical leftists and pro-Palestine activists.

This is unacceptable. Israel is our greatest ally and friend, and military aid should be delivered without delay to support their defense and root out a terrorist organization who killed Israelis, who killed Americans, and who still hold around 130 hostages. We must hold the President accountable for his dangerous intimidation tactics that put the safety of our ally and the Israeli people at risk by emboldening Hamas. 

As Israel’s security continues to be threatened by Iran and its terrorist group proxies like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, we must stand strongly with our friend and support Israel’s right to defend itself. Threats to Israel’s national security are threats to America’s national security.

H.R. ____, the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert, condemns the Biden Administration’s dangerous hold on arms delivery to Israel, urges the swift delivery of defense articles and weapons, withholds funds from the Secretaries of Defense and State and the National Security Council until these articles are delivered, and supports Israel’s right to self defense.

It is not President Biden’s job to dictate to Israel how they should go about defending their right to exist and deterring violence against their people. House Republicans stand unequivocally with Israel in its war against terrorists and those that threaten its freedom.

Removing Migrants Who Assault Police From Our Streets

For over three years, the Biden Administration and Secretary Mayorkas have not only failed in their duties to ensure America’s borders are secure, but also have made sure the illegal immigrants entering the U.S. can remain for as long as they wish – even if they commit crimes – by making it harder for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to arrest and detain criminal aliens. 

President Biden’s failures at the border have turned every state into a border state, and illegal immigrants across the country have committed crimes against our communities and the law enforcement officers who protect those communities, only to be released back onto our streets.

Currently, there are over 615,000 illegal immigrants on the ICE non-detained docket who have been convicted of a crime or have pending criminal charges, meaning these criminal aliens are roaming freely in our communities, able to commit any more crimes they please.

Just this January, Americans watched footage of a crowd of more than a dozen migrants viciously beating two NYPD officers close to Times Square. While six men were arrested for this heinous assault on officers who risk their lives every day to keep the city safe, all but one were released without bail shortly after being arrested, and the sixth illegal immigrant was later released on bail.

This is completely unacceptable. We should be detaining criminal illegal immigrants and ensuring their swift removal from the United States, not releasing them onto the streets to commit more crimes in American communities.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s legislation, H.R. 7343, the Detain and Deport Illegal Aliens Who Assault Cops Act, requires that illegal aliens who assault law enforcement officers are quickly arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) until they are removed from the United States. 

House Republicans will continue to prioritize the safety of our law enforcement officers and our communities, and fight to ensure that illegal immigrants who commit crimes against our law enforcement are quickly removed from our streets. 

Reporting on the Impact of Biden's Border Crisis on Law Enforcement

Every day, men and women who serve in law enforcement risk their lives to protect and defend our communities; however, thanks to President Biden’s disastrous border policies, their jobs have gotten significantly more difficult. 

By failing to enforce the United States’ border laws and refusing to remove illegal aliens from our country, even if they have committed crimes, the Biden Administration has ensured that the number of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. has increased considerably over their tenure. 

Meanwhile, the removal of criminal illegal aliens has significantly decreased, as the Biden Administration has made it harder to arrest and deport those immigrants who commit crimes in our communities. In fiscal year 2023, 41 percent fewer criminal illegal immigrants were deported than in fiscal year 2020, and around 60 percent fewer were removed than in fiscal year 2019. 

The most dangerous consequences of Biden’s open border, such as the fentanyl crisis and drug smuggling, violent gang activity, and human trafficking, fall squarely on the shoulders of our hardworking law enforcement officers. This has particularly strained local law enforcement whose communities are suffering under the President’s border failures, as they have to manage these dangerous ramifications that typically have been handled by federal agencies. 

As violence against law enforcement continues to rise, including violent interactions with Border patrol, state police, and local officers perpetuated by illegal immigrants, it is vital we support our police and ensure they have what they need to defend themselves and their communities.

H.R. 8146, the Police Our Border Act, sponsored by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, requires the Attorney General to report detailed information on how Biden’s border crisis impacts our law enforcement, including exposure to dangers such as fentanyl and human traffickers, injuries sustained, financial burdens, and operational strains.

It’s well past time President Biden secured our border and lessened the burden his policies have placed on law enforcement officers.

Expanding Concealed Carry Rights for Qualified Law Enforcement Officers  

The Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act, otherwise known as LEOSA, permits qualified active or retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms.

A qualified law enforcement officer, as defined by LEOSA, is a government agency employee who is legally authorized to “engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest or apprehension,” in addition to meeting other standards.

LEOSA, however, contains many exceptions, such as bans on carrying a concealed weapon on certain state, local and federal property and in school zones. These restrictions place burdensome red tape on concealed carry rights that can hinder law enforcement officers from keeping our communities safe.

Whether police officers are on duty or off, they diligently serve and protect America’s communities at their own risk. By expanding LEOSA and removing troublesome regulations limiting concealed carry rights for qualified active and retired officers, we would help brave officers keep both our communities and themselves safe. 

Rep. Don Bacon’s legislation, H.R. 354, the LEOSA Reform Act of 2024, broadens the ability of qualified active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms in areas such as school zones, national parks, federal facilities open to the public, and state, local, or private property open to the public.

House Republicans are working to alleviate restraints on concealed-carry rights to ensure brave and qualified officers are able to protect American communities without undue burdens. 

Keeping Communities Safe from Soft-on-Crime Policies

Despite skyrocketing crime, including against Members of Congress, and decreasing numbers of police officers in our nation’s capital, the D.C. Council continues to enact soft-on-crime policies that put residents and visitors of Washington, D.C., at risk. 

In 2023, D.C. crime was up by 30 percent, homicides rose 29 percent, violent crime increased 37 percent, robberies were up by 65 percent, and motor vehicle theft rose 107 percent when compared with the previous year. Meanwhile, the D.C. Metropolitan Police numbers are the lowest they have been in the past 50 years.

Since assuming the majority, House Republicans have worked tirelessly to combat these radical policies that threaten the safety of everyone in D.C. When the D.C. Council passed legislation to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for any crime besides first degree murder, reduce maximum penalties for violent crimes, and get rid of life sentences, we blocked their dangerous legislation with H.J. Res. 26 – a bill House Democrats overwhelmingly opposed.

Now, once again, House Republicans are bringing forward legislation to keep Americans safe in our nation’s capital. Our legislation addresses juvenile crime by lowering the age that defines a “youth” from under 25 to under 18, requires the D.C. Attorney General to create a website with juvenile crime statistics so policymakers can better create policy reforms, and blocks the D.C. Council from making any more changes to mandatory minimum sentences or sentencing parameters.

The American people are fed up with out-of-control crime. We must take actions to ensure criminals are kept off our streets and crimes do not go lightly punished.

H.R. 7530, the DC CRIMES Act of 2024, introduced by Rep. Byron Donalds, allows Congress to exert their oversight power over the D.C. Council and promote safety in Washington by blocking the Council’s pursuit of soft-on-crime sentencing and radical progressive policies.

While the D.C. Council continues to pass and defend laws that make it easier for violent criminals to walk the streets, House Republicans are fighting to keep our nation’s capital safe. 

Comprehensively Combating Violent Crime Against Law Enforcement

Over the last few years, Democrats’ embrace of the radical “Defund the Police” and “No Cash Bail” movements and anti-police rhetoric have made our communities less safe and fueled violence against the dedicated law enforcement officers working to protect Americans. 

In 2022, 64 police officers were killed in the line of duty, with the leading cause of death being ambush-style attacks that claimed the lives of 11 officers. 30 percent of these casualties were caused by unprovoked attacks or ambushes on officers.

As they are being increasingly targeted for simply doing their jobs to protect our communities, police are also facing rising violent crime and reductions in police funding and staffing – across the country, law enforcement agencies are struggling to keep departments staffed amidst the rise in anti-police sentiment and threats to police officer safety. 

As many cities have learned the hard way, defunding police and perpetuating anti-police sentiment have devastating consequences on both the safety of our officers and our communities. We should be standing up for the brave men and women who risk their lives to defend our streets, not implementing soft-on-crime legislation or stirring up animosity towards police.

Currently, however, data collection surrounding violent and ambush attacks on law enforcement is lacking or too narrow. By expanding the types of data collected surrounding violence against police and gaining a better understanding of the circumstances, we could improve preventative measures and methods of addressing the physical and mental impacts on our law enforcement.

Rep. Dan Bishop’s legislation, H.R. 7581, the Improving Law Enforcement Officer Safety and Wellness Through Data Act of 2024, requires the Attorney General to assemble reports on violence against law enforcement officers and the effectiveness of programs meant to provide law enforcement with wellness resources and protective equipment so we may comprehensively enhance the safety of police officers. 

House Republicans won’t stop standing up for our men and women in blue as they face increasing challenges and threats to their safety.

Addressing Violence Against Police and Supporting Our Law Enforcement

The declining respect for rule of law and law enforcement officers in the United States, fueled by radical Democrat “Defund the Police” movements and anti-police rhetoric, has created a crisis of safety impacting both our officers and our neighborhoods. 

Progressive soft-on-crime policies and narratives painting the police as the enemy have resulted in record violence against our officers, cities struggling with massive challenges in police recruitment and retention, and failure to hold violent criminals accountable and keep them off our streets. 

In 2023, 378 police officers were shot in the line of duty – the highest ever recorded. Of these shootings, 115 were the result of violent ambushes on law enforcement. The average age of fallen law enforcement officers was 45 years old, and the average fallen officer leaves behind two children when they pass. 

These are just the numbers that get reported – currently, data does not show the number of law enforcement officers who are assaulted, injured, or disabled while serving our communities every single year. 

Regardless of the threat to their lives, law enforcement officers answer every call to protect and defend their communities. It’s time we answer the call to protect and defend our officers.

H. Res. 1213, sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber, addresses violence against law enforcement officers by condemning calls for defunding police and anti-police sentiment that has increased violence against police, acknowledging the mental and physical impacts such violence has on police, and expressing condolences and appreciation to the families of fallen law enforcement officers.

America’s law enforcement officers deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for the sacrifices they and their families make every day to keep our communities safe. House Republicans will always back the blue.

Condemning Biden’s Border Crisis and its Burden on Law Enforcement

Since his first day in office, President Biden has done everything in his power to undermine U.S. border security, including passing executive orders to stop construction of the border wall, revoke President Trump’s executive order to ensure meaningful enforcement of border laws, end immigration restrictions on countries associated with terrorism, and sign other executive orders incentivizing illegal immigration. 

Thanks to the President’s dangerous open border policies, more than 7.2 million illegal immigrants have entered our country under the Biden Administration – more than the population of 36 states – placing incredible strain on our nation’s law enforcement officers and threatening the safety of communities across the country.

More than 350 people on the terrorist watchlist have been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. across our southern border since President Biden assumed office in 2021 – an over 2,000 percent increase over when President Trump was in office from 2017 to 2020. 

And, these migrants aren’t just coming from South America – individuals from more than 160 countries, including countries on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, have been apprehended crossing our border illegally. 

America’s law enforcement officers are forced to deal with not only the strain of the massive influx of illegal immigrants pouring across the border, but the rising violent crime, impacts of drugs like fentanyl, human trafficking, and other dangers that result from it. 

Rep. Clay Higgins’ legislation, H. Res. 1210, condemns President Biden’s border crisis and the dangers and burdens it has created for  America’s law enforcement officers, and urges the Biden Administration to support the law enforcement officers defending our homeland.

Our men and women in uniform should not be forced to bear the burden of President Biden’s border failures. House Republicans are standing up against the harmful impacts of the border crisis on American law enforcement.  

Investing in Safer and More Efficient Air Travel

The United States has long held the gold standard for air travel and aviation safety; however, due to a lack of innovation, bureaucratic hurdles, a shortage of aviation professionals, and increasing global competition, other countries like China are starting to pass us by. 

The United States must maintain its global leadership in aviation by constantly advancing technology and improving the traveling experience for passengers. Investing in our aviation workforce and infrastructure improves the safety of air travel, creates good jobs, and broadens the aviation workforce pipeline. 

It is vital that we reauthorize these important programs as well as continue to improve our aviation system to ensure America remains the gold standard. This week, the House will vote on legislation to reauthorize FAA safety and infrastructure programs.

The legislation includes targeted reforms to increase efficiency by cutting red tape, supports pilots and addresses workforce shortages, invests in U.S. airport infrastructure, promotes innovation in aviation, and improves the traveling experience for passengers. 

The safety and leadership of America’s aviation sector impacts every American. We must ensure that United States aviation continues to set the bar on the world stage.

S. Amdt. to H.R. 3935, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration and aviation safety and infrastructure programs for the next five years. 

It’s time to pass this bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reauthorize and improve the Federal Aviation Administration, which is critical to secure our global leadership in air travel, support the economy with millions of jobs, make the system safer and more efficient for travelers, and ensure the future of American aviation.