Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) were the only two House lawmakers to vote against a resolution on Monday that recognized law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, arguing the measure was “intended to advance Republicans’ false narrative.”
The House approved the resolution in a 413-2 vote. The measure expresses support for recognizing “National Police Week,” which is taking place this week.
In a joint statement Tuesday, Bush and Tlaib said that while the health and safety of first responders is “a top priority” for them, the resolution was “not a referendum on support for the safety of first responders.”
“It is a document intended to advance Republicans’ false narrative around supporting law enforcement and gaslight the public about where they stand,” they added.
The progressive pair went on to criticize the GOP as “the Party of insurrection,” claiming Republican lawmakers “enabled January 6th by peddling lies about the election.”
“Far from supporting law enforcement, Republicans are using their majority to actively target agencies that try to uphold the law and hold them and their cult leader Donald Trump accountable for their criminal behavior,” they said.
“If Republicans cared about public safety, including the safety of law enforcement officers, they wouldn’t be enabling insurrection, passing hypocritical messaging bills, and holding our economy hostage so they can ram through their unpopular agenda that disinvests from our communities,” they added.
Bush has frequently expressed support for defunding the police. In August 2022, she declared in an interview “defunding the police has to happen,” adding “We need to defund the police and put that money into social safety nets because we’re trying to save lives.”
She defended the use of the slogan in February 2022, telling a group of Black reporters, “’Defund the police’ is not the problem.”
“We dangled the carrot in front of people’s faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver, when we haven’t totally delivered,” she added.
Tlaib has similarly made comments critical of law enforcement in the past. In April 2021, she said policing in the U.S. is “intentionally racist” and “can’t be reformed” after Daunte Wright was fatally shot in a Minneapolis suburb. She said there should be, “No more policing, incarceration, and militarization.”
The resolution voted on Monday includes the names of 556 law enforcement officers who are being honored by Peace Officers Memorial Day. Of that group, 224 officers were killed in 2022, and the other 332 were killed in previous years and had their stories recovered last year.
The resolution “acknowledges that police officers and other law enforcement personnel, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, should be remembered and honored,” and “expresses condolences and solemn appreciation” to the loved ones of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.”
It also “expresses unwavering support for law enforcement officers across the United States in the pursuit of preserving safe and secure communities,” and “recognized the law enforcement community for continual unseen acts of sacrifice and heroism.”
Additionally, the resolution recognizes the need to make sure members of law enforcement are provided the equipment, training and resources they need “to protect the health and safety of the officers while the officers protect the public.”