Stauber Offers JUSTICE Act on House Floor

June 25, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) used a procedural move called a Motion to Recommit to bring the JUSTICE Act to the House Floor for consideration. House Democrats voted down his motion, instead voting to pass their purely partisan bill that would make American communities less safe. Despite being one of the only Members of Congress who has served in the local uniform, Speaker Pelosi blocked Stauber and his Republican colleagues from helping draft police reform legislation.

A majority of the JUSTICE Act’s provisions have earned bipartisan support in the past. This bill would rebuild performance, accountability, and transparency within police departments nationwide in some of the following ways:

  • Increase the number of body cameras.
  • Improve access to prior disciplinary records, ensuring officers who consistently act outside of their policies, procedures, and training, cannot move from department to department.
  • Emphasize community reflective recruitment, ensuring the makeup of police departments more closely resemble the communities they serve.
  • Restore investment in community policing, helping to build trust between officers and the communities they serve.
  • Invest in improved police training, with an emphasis on de-escalation and duty to intervene.

Stauber gave a passionate speech on the House Floor on the critical need for police reform, highlighting the fact that bipartisan cooperation is needed to get any police reform legislation signed into law. During his remarks, Congressman Stauber said (in part):

“I rise today to talk about two stories.

Two parallel stories that are not conflicting but coexist in our world today.

The first story is of the police officer in anytown, USA.

The police officer who swore a solemn oath to serve and protect her community. Who every day proudly puts on the badge and gets in her squad car and goes to her job, knowing full well that she may not come home. She has a family and kids who she wants to see graduate. But she puts on that badge every day because she cares deeply about making the world a better and safer place. About serving her community.

I know this story well from my 23 years as a law enforcement officer. It is a narrative of pride that needs to be known and heard.

 It is a narrative that deserves admiration.

The second story is of a black teenager, also in anytown, USA, who watched Walter Scott get shot in the back in South Carolina.

Who saw Ahmaud Arbery go out for a jog and not come back.

Who saw George Floyd inexplicitly murdered at the hands of police.

Who is genuinely afraid and uncertain that if he leaves his home and goes out to the store for his mother, he may not come back.

These communities feel abandoned. They feel left behind by their government. By sitting in this Chamber today and bringing up a bill that is so partisan that it will go nowhere after its consideration here: you are proving them right. You are telling that black teenager, and that officer that their concerns can wait until after election day.

Mr Speaker, my motion to recommit asks that we consider both stories, both perspectives. My motion to recommit, which is the JUSTICE Act, was the product of, Senator Tim Scott and I, sharing two different stories and finding solutions that incite real change. The JUSTICE Act makes the necessary reforms that should have been made a long time ago.”

Watch Congressman Stauber’s full remarks, HERE.

BACKGROUND:

As a former Duluth police officer, Congressman Stauber is proud to lead the JUSTICE Act in the House of Representatives. Senator Tim Scott is the lead on this legislation in the Senate. Learn more about the bill, HERE.

Yesterday, Senate Democrats blocked consideration of the JUSTICE Act in the Senate. Their actions also stood in the way of allowing debate, offering amendments, and finding common ground on police reform. Read Stauber’s response, HERE.

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