May 21 2022
ICYMI Congressman Tom Rice Calls on Speaker Pelosi to Vote on
Pro Law Enforcement Legislation
The Legislation Would More Than Double Current Federal Funding for the COPS Program, Cut Red Tape for Rural Police Departments & Sheriff’s Offices
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In honor of National Police Week, Congressman Rice spoke on the House floor to ask Speaker Pelosi to bring pro law enforcement legislation to a vote.
“This week is National Police Week, a time when we should be honoring those who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Rice. “I have introduced a bill with Rep. Spanberger that would reauthorize the COPS grant program and help lower income rural agencies compete for these grants. It has 53 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle. If Speaker Pelosi would allow a vote on the floor, it would pass.”
In a letter sent to U.S. House leadership this week, Rep. Rice and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) urged U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, and U.S. House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan to bring the COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022 to the floor for consideration as soon as possible. Additionally, they highlighted the nationwide need to support law enforcement departments across the country as they face a wide range of new challenges.
“We write to request the House bring bipartisan legislation to the floor for a vote as soon as possible to invest in local police departments to promote safe communities and strengthen relationships between our officers and the communities they serve,” said Rice and Spanberger. “Police departments cannot effectively answer the immense and diverse needs of their communities without sufficient funding. Therefore, we must urgently vote to increase funding for local departments and strengthen federal efforts on community-oriented policing.”
Support continues to grow for the legislation. Last week, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus endorsed the COPS on the Beat Program Reauthorization and Parity Act. Additionally, several national law enforcement organizations have backed the bipartisan legislation — including the National Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs Association, National Organization of Police Officers, National Sheriffs Association, and Sergeants Benevolent Association.
This week Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“Rural America has many challenges, policing among them,” said Graham. “This bill would increase access to much-needed grant money to assist rural law enforcement agencies in recruiting and retaining the brave men and women who wear the badge.”
Read the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022 press release here.