As Senate Refills Crime Victims’ Fund, Leaders Must Also Fight Surge in Violent Crime
'For about a year now, the political left has grown obsessed with the notions that police officers are inherently bad, policing is inherently evil, and what vulnerable neighborhoods really need is less enforcement of the laws… As I’ve noted before, attacking and insulting the police is not just a bad strategy for public safety across the board. The data show it is an especially destructive approach to advancing racial justice.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding crime:
“Later today, the Senate is set to do some bipartisan legislating.
“In 1984, Congress passed the Victims of Crime Act, which includes an important federal program called the Crime Victims Fund.
“When criminals who commit federal crimes are charged fines and penalties, some of that money flows into this Fund.
“It goes to state-level programs that help crime victims with services like counseling and emergency shelters. It also helps compensate victims directly for with expenses like medical costs, mental health, funeral expenses, and lost wages. Some of the money also goes specifically to fight child abuse.
“This Fund needs to rest on firm financial footing. But right now, it doesn’t. Its balance has been shrinking fast. Congress needs to act to prevent big cuts to victims’ services, particularly in rural areas.
“A number of Senators on both sides have come together and produced bipartisan reforms that will strengthen the program and keep assistance flowing to the survivors of federal crimes.
“The junior Senator for Pennsylvania has a further amendment to help make sure the program can’t be used as part of budgetary shell games that deliberately cloud federal accounting.
“I’ll support both Senator Toomey’s amendment and our colleagues’ legislation later today.
“But on this subject, for goodness sakes, elected officials should not just be racing to replenish the Crime Victims Fund before it runs out.
“Leaders at the local, state, and federal levels should be acting to confront the surge in violent crime that is plaguing our nation.
“For about a year now, the political left has grown obsessed with the notions that police officers are inherently bad, policing is inherently evil, and what vulnerable neighborhoods really need is less enforcement of the laws.
“As one House member has informed us, quote, ‘defunding police means defunding police’!
“Another put it this way: ‘Defunding the police isn’t radical, it’s real.’
“Well, academic research has confirmed something troubling. The broad anti-police backlash that sometimes follows high-profile, police-involved incidents subsequently leads to less safety, more crime, and more murders
“Sure enough, murders have shot up in cities and communities across the country.
“My hometown of Louisville has seen 66% more homicides than we’d seen by this time last year.
“Last year was a record year for carjacking’s and yet Louisville is on pace to match it again. And the city’s police department is short more than 200 sworn officers due to low recruitment, low morale, and resignations.
“Leaders should be working to contain this damage. But instead of delivering a sober, responsible message, many of the most prominent Democratic politicians instead grabbed their megaphones and amplified the anti-police sentiment as loud as possible.
“As I’ve noted before, attacking and insulting the police is not just a bad strategy for public safety across the board. The data show it is an especially destructive approach to advancing racial justice.
“The truth is this. Quote: ‘Larger police forces save lives and the lives saved are disproportionately Black lives.’ That’s another expert study.
“So I’m glad the Senate will take the important step today of reforming and strengthening the Crime Victims’ Fund.
“It certainly belies any notion that we can’t legislate in a bipartisan way. We absolutely can, and we do — when a bipartisan outcome is what the Democratic majority truly wants and makes possible.
“But I wish anti-crime, pro-police, pro-public-safety attitudes and policies could be just as bipartisan at the state, local, and federal levels as today’s vote will likely be.
“Standing up for law enforcement and the innocent people they protect should never be limited to one side of the aisle.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Law Enforcement