Herrera Beutler’s bill authorizes $25M annually for 5 years to discourage ‘police reform’ laws

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) on Jan. 21 sponsored legislation that would authorize federal grants for states and local government units to reverse restricted law enforcement efforts.

“It’s time for Washington to reverse course on failed police laws,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler of her home state, where she said law enforcement officials complain that new Washington state “police reform” policies are hindering police response and emboldening criminals.

The congresswoman introduced the Refund the Police Act, H.R. 6469, which would provide grants as an incentive for states to reverse such laws, which she says harm the ability of police to keep communities safe. 

“I’ve had countless conversations with local law enforcement officers and without exception, they point to Washington’s so-called police reform bills as contributors to rising crime in our communities,” Rep. Herrera Beutler said. “The stated goals for these bills are admirable, but what has resulted is emboldened criminals, demoralized officers whose jobs are more dangerous, and rising crime.”

Specifically, H.R. 6469 would authorize $25 million per year for five years through Community Oriented Policing Services Grants administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. To be eligible, a state or local government would not be allowed to have laws in effect that require a heightened standard for use of force, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Herrera Beutler’s staff. 

Additionally, a state or local government would be eligible if it plans to expand efforts to hire and retain officers, and has not taken steps in the previous year to eliminate drive-by shootings as a basis for murder in the first degree, the summary says.

H.R. 6469 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.