With less than six months left until the midterm elections, the agenda the House GOP hopes to adopt as the majority party is taking shape.
So far, top Republicans have pledged to exercise strong oversight of the Biden administration, investigate the origins of COVID-19, increase border security, handle rising inflation and empower parents to have more of a say in their children’s public education. Now, a top Republican is laying out a roadmap that he wants the the GOP to follow to fight crime.
Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the intellectual engine behind House conservatives’ legislative agenda, released a memo on Monday outlining ways for the GOP to counter the Democrats’ “pro-criminal agenda” heading into the midterm elections.
Banks emphasizes that the GOP needs to adopt a concrete crime-flighting public proposal as crime rises nationally.
“It’s not enough for conservatives to point out that the Left’s radical Defund the Police movement was a deadly disaster,” Banks wrote. “[Americans] need to know that conservatives have a plan to make them safe.”
According to the memorandum drafted by Banks, combating the Defund the Police effort and Critical Race Theory is connected to the issue of crime.
“The movement spurred the 50 largest cities in the U.S. to cut their police budgets by 5.2% on average in 2021,” Banks wrote, “even though states and localities across the country have been ‘awash with cash.’ However, the Defund the Police ideology of the Left goes beyond funding decisions.
“Defund the Police, which is rooted in Critical Race Theory and the BLM movement, seeks to scuttle law enforcement while coddling our communities’ worst criminals.”
Banks called for conservatives to “recognize that the battle for our streets is also taking place in our nation’s classrooms, where ‘woke’ teachers are indoctrinating our youth with radical ideologies, like Critical Race Theory, the Black Lives Matter agenda, and the Defund the Police movement that side with criminals over law abiding Americans.”
He suggested that Republicans “continue ongoing efforts to keep federal tax dollars from funding these dangerous ideologies, empower parents, and to advance school choice.”
The memo notes that assaults, drug seizures and homicides are on the rise.
Banks recommends that conservatives draft a Concerned Citizens Bill of Rights and propose it as formal legislation. He said the bill should “advance legislation to codify qualified immunity for police officers,” oppose no cash bail policies, and focus on “crime wave transparency” as a condition of receiving federal funds, meaning all police departments must “report crimes to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.”
Banks emphasized that handling the immigration crisis at the border is key to solving the problem of crime.
“Biden and [Homeland Security] Secretary Mayorkas are responsible for the single worst border crisis in our nation’s history, have empowered drug cartels, and allowed narcotics and criminals to flow in record numbers into American communities,” Banks wrote. “In 2021, deportations of non-drug-related convicted felons dropped by 50%.”
Taking on Big Tech is linked to a crime-fighting agenda too, according to the RSC memo.
“Big Tech social media platforms should not be able to hide behind Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act when they knowingly share illegal content, such as child pornography — which has become an epidemic in recent years,” read the memo.
Banks has introduced the Stop Shielding Culpable Platforms Act, which “ensures that when social media companies know of the harmful and illegal content that is shared on their platform, they can be held liable.”
In addition to the border, inflation, education policy and fighting crime, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that the GOP will focus on energy independence if they take back the House as rising gas prices continue to break records.
“We have a very clear commonsense alternative — that we will secure the border, make us energy independent, give us sound fiscal policy to stop runaway inflation, to have our parents have a say in our kids’ education,” McCarthy said.
The latest polls show the GOP is favored to take back the House.