Pascrell Marks Police Week
House GOP refuses to take up bipartisan measures in support of law enforcement
Washington, DC, May 16, 2023
Tags: Public Safety
Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the longtime co-chairman of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, took to the House floor to praise law enforcement officers as the nation marks Police Week. Pascrell also criticized Republican politicization of Police Week and forcing the House to vote on partisan bills to do little to help law enforcement officers.
“I am always proud to stand in support of our brave law enforcement officers who suit up every day. That is especially true during National Police Week,” said Congressman Pascrell. “Our heroes do not just protect the safety of us and our neighbors. They defend the institutions that are fundamental to the well-being of our great society.”
Congressman Pascrell has long sought to highlight Republican attacks on police. On September 3, 2022, Rep. Pascrell penned an op-ed in the NY Daily News entitled “Donald Trump vs. law enforcement: All the ways he’s hurt policing in America as president.” The piece outlines the several attempts by Donald Trump and House Republicans to significantly cut funding to key federal grant programs for state and local law enforcement, such as Byrne JAG and COPS.
Pascrell has fought for years to provide federal funds for our nation’s law enforcement. He has repeatedly led efforts to fully fund the Byrne JAG program, the COPS Hiring program, and other key funding streams for state and local law enforcement. Last year he led a bipartisan group of 160 Members of Congress in support of increased funding for our federal policing grants.
On November 18, 2021, Pascrell’s Protecting America’s First Responders Act (PAFRA) was signed into law by President Biden. The legislation significantly improved federal benefits for first responders and their families should injury or death occur in the line of duty.
On August 17, 2022, Pascrell’s TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act was signed into law by President Biden. The legislation authorized $270 million over five years for the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP), and funded a new Pascrell pushed police training program to help law enforcement and first responders better recognize and respond to people suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Congressman Pascrell’s prepared remarks are below.
Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Police Week 2023 Floor Remarks
Mister Speaker, I am always proud to stand in support of our brave law enforcement officers who suit up every day. That is especially true during National Police Week.
Our heroes do not just protect the safety of us and our neighbors. They defend the institutions that are fundamental to the well-being of our great society.
Thousands of law enforcement officers and their families are in Washington to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The names of 556 law officers will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Among these fallen heroes are Matthew Vogel of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office and Robert Miller of the Clifton Police Department.
Lieutenant Vogel and Sergeant Miller are missed tremendously in our North Jersey communities. I pray for their families.
As longtime co-chairman of the Law Enforcement Caucus, I know the value of building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
We cannot simply say we support law enforcement. Action is required.
Last Congress, it was my honor to write two bills to fund the police that were signed into law: the TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act, and the Protecting America’s First Responders Act.
The last three years have been difficult for all of us. Especially for our brothers and sisters in uniform.
This Police Week, let’s do right by the law enforcement community. Let’s pass bills that actually support the police. Not partisan messaging but action!
I hope we would have considered two bipartisan bills of mine this police week.
The first is H.R. 1322, the Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act, which would guarantee Federal law enforcement officers receive their full retirement benefits.
The second bill, H.R. 1719, Honoring our Fallen Heroes Act, would ensure our first responders who die or become disabled due to occupational cancer receive benefits under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits program.
These bills would actually make a difference for officers and their families. It is time we focus on those on the front lines. I hope we can pass them this Congress.
Thank you. God bless our police and God bless America. I yield back.