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Conservatives Ready Law-and-Order Agenda Ahead Of Midterm Elections

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By Philip Wegmann for RealClearPolitics

Crime is on the rise around the country, the midterm elections are fast approaching, and the largest bloc of House conservatives is preparing a comprehensive package of law-and-order legislation.

The Republican Study Committee, led by Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, has catalogued every GOP argument about crime in the last two years and distilled it into a single memo to lay at the feet of President Biden. 

The murder rate is up. So are violence against law enforcementdrug seizuresaggravated assault, grand theft auto, and domestic violence.

All of it, as the RSC sees it, is the result of “the left’s crime wave.” The solution then, according to a memo obtained exclusively by RealClearPolitics, is to make federal funding conditional on states’ adoption of “certain pro-law enforcement measures,” or what Banks calls the “Concerned Citizens Bill of Rights.”

RELATED: Progressive District Attorneys Are Making Our Cities Unsafe

The document comes just six months before the midterms, and crime was always going to play a significant role in those contests. Voters fed up with lawlessness made Eric Adams mayor of New York City, and crime continues to upstage more progressive priorities in traditionally liberal contests, like the Los Angeles mayoral race.

Even outside of major metropolises, Americans believe crime is getting worse. According to Gallup, a majority (53%) say they personally worry a “great deal” about crime. It now ranks third in their top concerns, behind only inflation and the economy.

Banks and House Republicans argue that the uptick stems from a spate of progressive prosecutors who’ve been bankrolled by liberal money and the Defund the Police movement, which call it “one of the greatest dangers to public safety in our nation’s history.”

Despite Biden’s condemnation of the “defund” rhetoric from his left flank, they still say the president and his party own the carnage that comes from adhering to that philosophy.

“From the White House to liberal state and local governments, there has been a systemic failure to contain crime in America. It stems from the dangerous belief that enforcing the law is somehow morally wrong or even racist. It has paralyzed law enforcement agencies at all levels and created prosecutors who would rather let a dangerous criminal walk out of jail than enforce the law,” the memo reads.

None of this is new. Republicans are always eager to lean into their traditional branding as the party of law and order. For instance, the memo states that “once, again, Democrats have broken a part of our civil society.” But unlike Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the RSC led by Banks has rejected the idea of just playing the opposition until November.

“Crime is at an unacceptable level and Americans are desperate for solutions,” the memo states. “They need to know that Conservatives have a plan to make them safe.”

This time, those plans go beyond anti-liberal rhetoric. Republicans are laying a legislative agenda. And the plan in the RSC memo is the most comprehensive picture voters have to date for how Republicans will seek to tackle crime if they retake the majority. First and foremost, the “Concerned Citizens Bill of Rights” is fiduciary in nature. Conservatives would use congressional purse strings to close the net on states and local authorities they believe “promote the left’s pro-criminal agenda.”

RELATED: Americans More Worried About Crime Amid Violence, Retail Crime Wave

Among other things, this means withholding money from states “when their district attorneys’ offices systematically decline to prosecute types of cases or charge certain crimes,” and also cutting off federal dollars “to states that have ‘no-cash bail’ laws on the books.” The RSC would also tie strings to federal funding, perhaps largest among them the condition that state and local police departments open their books and report all crimes to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

The memo also details 10 other proposed reforms, each of them almost certain to trigger a showdown with the White House.

A Republican majority would pressure the DOJ to reinstate the Trump administration policy of federal prosecutors charging offenders with the highest offense rather than lesser ones, reversing a tactic they say the current administration is using to “skirt mandatory minimums.” At the same time, lawmakers would press Attorney General Merrick Garland to reverse course and limit the use of consent decrees.

Another top priority if the GOP retakes control and if the RSC gets its way: codifying qualified immunity for police officers. The memo also calls for new legislation that would create new criminal offenses for killing or assaulting law enforcement officers.

Other priorities include traditional calls for “enhancing penalties against violent, repeat offenders,” specifically when it comes to drug traffickers. They call for Fentanyl to be permanently listed as a Schedule I drug and for consideration of “stronger penalties for this particularly deadly drug, even life in prison.”

There are also new reforms tailored to current conservative passions such as “holding Big Tech accountable when it facilitates or is complicit in criminal activity,” and seeking to stem the flow of tax dollars to any public schools that advance “anti-police education.”

While House conservatives pay lip service to the idea that Congress “should be constrained by the principles of federalism” when pursuing their anti-crime agenda, they are eager to flex federal muscles. At least, that is, when it comes to governing Washington, D.C.

Citing the city’s 226 homicides and sharp uptick in overall crime, they believe Congress should take an increased role in how D.C. polices its streets. They hold out as a tantalizing possibility using the federal city as an example for the nation of “how abandoning pro-criminal policies can increase public safety.”

RELATED: Under Top Prosecutor’s Policies, Sheriff Says, ‘It’s Profitable To Do Crime In Los Angeles County’

Again, all of this is aspirational. None of it stands any chance of becoming law unless Republicans retake both chambers of Congress. Even then, it almost certainly means a showdown with the White House. But the conflict of visions is precisely the point. The RSC wants voters to see what the GOP plans to do if they return to power, and here conservatives are leading.

The Republican Study Committee under Banks has returned to its role serving as the in-house think tank for the GOP. The conservative group has also thrown its weight around. The RSC, which counts more than 150 lawmakers as members, has spent its time in the minority pushing Republican brass to the right.

Banks lobbied Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to make the GOP more of a “working class party.” Now the group has put pen to paper outlining how they’d tackle crime.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.

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Supporting the Buffalo community begins with honest conversations about racism

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Since the 1930s, Black neighborhoods have been ranked as financially unstable to dissuade lenders from approving Black homeowners for loans. This meant Black homeowners were subject to different procedures when purchasing a home, which restricted the flow of capital into Black neighborhoods and prohibited Black homeowners from buying in white neighborhoods—reinforcing segregation.

The lack of access to loans also made it more difficult for Black people to open businesses and build wealth, sparking a downward spiral of disinvestment. Today, the impacts of segregation are clearly visible in the resources available in the city of Buffalo. Of the five major employment centers in Erie County, only one is located within the city of Buffalo, and there are 51 census block groups that have limited access to supermarkets. Every single one is located east of Main Street.

“Buffalo is a powder keg,” said Franchelle Parker, executive director of Open Buffalo. “We can’t talk about what happened on Saturday as one isolated event. Buffalo has been a breeding ground for this type of situation to occur.”

Parker said people outside of Buffalo can get involved by helping to change the racist, white supremacist systems that are in place that led to the attack. Parker suggests having conversations with family and friends about the reality of Buffalo’s history and pressing politicians for policies that support the Black community. Many white supremacists involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection have been tied to western New York, a breeding ground for racist ideology.

“We can’t change the system if we ignore the symptoms of it,” said Jillian Hanesworth, the first poet laureate of Buffalo and Open Buffalo’s director of leadership development. “I want people to stop saying ‘this isn’t Buffalo,’ because it is.”

To honor the lives of those who were killed, Parker and Hanesworth say a conversation needs to happen about how decades of policy decisions have starved the East Side of Buffalo of resources, including healthy food, high-paying jobs, and quality housing. Of all people who identify as Black within the city of Buffalo, roughly 85% live east of Main Street, where Tops is the only grocery store they can walk to. Buffalo is one of the most segregated cities in the country.

In the 1960s and ’70s, the planning and construction of a highway system through Buffalo cut through the city’s Humboldt Parkway, a tree-lined boulevard that connected its park system. Like many other cities in the Northeast, Black people, neighborhoods, and businesses were disproportionately targeted and affected by plans for “urban revitalization.” Its effects are felt today.

“It’s not just a poor Black neighborhood,” Parker said. “Jefferson Avenue is really the cultural heartbeat of the East Side of Buffalo. And many people in our community see this as not just an isolated attack at Tops, but an attack on the entire Black culture.”

For Masten, Buffalo, Tops was not just a supermarket. It was an anchor in the community where locals would cash their checks, buy food, and connect with each other. With that anchor indefinitely closed, Open Buffalo is serving as a connective hub to help locals find the resources they need, including addressing transportation, food, and mental health needs while the city remains on high alert. Buffalo Community Fridge has set up refrigerators on the street stocked with milk, eggs, fresh fruits, and vegetables to ensure that the community stays fed. The African Heritage Food Co-op is also providing free food delivery and distribution. And Heart of the City Neighborhoods is paying up to 90 days rent for the individuals directly impacted by the attack.

“I believe that our community can get back to our heyday and even greater, but we need policy choices that protect and uplift our people,” Parker said. “There is power that our elected officials have.”

At the time of the shooting, Hanesworth was at a baby shower outside of the city. Once the news broke, her organization’s group chat was in constant communication, and she immediately went to the scene to see how she could support her community. It was a traumatizing experience to see people running to the parking lot trying to identify their loved ones’ cars.  

“It was the most intense and pure grief I’ve ever witnessed,” Hanesworth said. “It was something I’ve never seen before, and I hope I never see again.”

Hanesworth has been organizing ever since while processing the traumatic event, and said when she woke up Sunday morning, she realized she had been crying in her sleep.

“I just feel very antsy and desperate to help and to not be in the way,” Hanesworth said. “Black people across the country, we have dealt with so much. We don’t need to be told that we’re resilient. This will almost trick people into normalizing this.”

Hanesworth wants to push against the idea of “Buffalo Strong” and persevering amidst the tragedy, and instead for people outside Buffalo to recognize that the community is deeply hurting.

“We don’t need to know that we’re strong,” Hanesworth said. “We need to know that we’re safe. I just love this community so much. I always say the culture of the city of Buffalo comes out of the East Side. We are really loud. We’re hopeful. We’re musical. And I really hope that beyond people seeing us in pain that they can see that we love each other and that we’re here for each other. We’re not going anywhere.”

Prism is an independent and nonprofit newsroom led by journalists of color. Our in-depth and thought-provoking journalism reflects the lived experiences of people most impacted by injustice. We tell stories from the ground up to disrupt harmful narratives, and to inform movements for justice. Sign up for our newsletter to get our stories in your inbox, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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GREAT QUESTION: After Spending Three Years and Millions of Dollars How Did Mueller and Weissmann Not Figure Out Hillary Created the Russia Hoax?

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The Conservative Treehouse revisited the question that all of America is asking.  If you spent so much money and time and resources, how did you not determine that Hillary Clinton was behind the Trump – Russia collusion sham?

The Conservative Treehouse asks:

How did Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann spend 2 years investigating Trump-Russia; with a team of 19 lawyers, $40 million in resources, 40 FBI agents, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants and 500 witnesses; and not find out that Hillary Clinton created the hoax they were investigating?

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This is an excellent question that no one is asking.  How could this group of experts spend so much time, energy, and resources and not determine that the Russia-Collusion sham was created by Hillary?

The answer is just as easy as the question is obvious.  Mueller and Weissmann didn’t determine that Hillary was behind the Trump-Russia collusion delusion because they didn’t want to.  Their mission was to overthrow the Trump Administration, not determine the truth.  This was a coup plain and simple.

We knew this years ago.

Four Were Hanged In 1865 Democrat Coup Involving Lincoln’s Assassination

We knew that Weissmann, who many believe was the corrupt mastermind behind the Mueller sham investigation, was a Hillary fan.  But he wasn’t alone.  They all hated President Trump.  We also know that this showed in their corrupt actions throughout the investigation.

THE UPDATED LIST: 130 Times the FBI, DOJ and/or Mueller Gang “Deviated from Standard Practice” or Committed Crimes in Efforts to Exonerate Hillary and Indict President Trump

Will Durham get to the bottom of the Mueller sham or will he end it here with millions wasted and criminals ignored and set free?

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The Interior Department will release its next offshore oil and gas lease plan by June 30 after all

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Haaland said a public comment period would be held following the release of the proposed program but declined to offer a date for when the plan would reach final approval. Unsurprisingly, Republicans (and Joe Manchin) weren’t thrilled over the prospect of a not-so-seamless transition between five-year plans. Manchin said he was supportive of an initial pause to re-evaluate things but said “the time for a pause has come and gone,” and criticized the Biden administration’s reluctance to basically do his and other pollution-loving lawmakers’ bidding.

“Leasing is part of the cycle of development,” Manchin said. “Announcements that new leasing isn’t in line with the president’s policy while taking concrete steps to block or severely limit new leasing have a chilling effect. And yes, new lease sales would not immediately increase production but the administration’s short-sighted approach that only focuses on current production puts America’s energy security at risk.” He claimed continuing to tap fossil fuel sources isn’t all bad since we’re producing cleaner energy than, say, Russia or Iran. But emissions are still emissions and it’s not like carrying on with oil and gas is a stellar long-term plan in the face of an ever-worsening climate crisis.

Renewable energy advocates and organizations focused on combatting climate change praised Haaland, with League of Conservation Voters Program Director Alex Taurel applauding the Interior Department’s “deliberative and thoughtful approach to the forthcoming five year offshore drilling plan.” “Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business that threatens coastal communities, economies and marine life, which is why implementing solutions now to allow for a future powered by clean energy must be the way forward,” Taurel said in a press release. “We look forward to the release of the next draft of DOI’s 5-year plan for offshore drilling and are counting on this administration to finalize a plan that schedules no new lease sales.”

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