House GOP policy leader wants voter bill of rights to hold 'anti-police officials accountable'

"The contours of this legislation should hold anti-police officials accountable for fostering a culture of crime," writes Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.

Updated: May 9, 2022 - 3:33pm

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Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, is calling for the creation of a Concerned Citizens Bill of Rights in response to the high number of violent crimes across the country.

"Conservatives should prepare a Concerned Citizens Bill of Rights," Banks, of Indiana, wrote in a memo released on Monday. "The contours of this legislation should hold anti-police officials accountable for fostering a culture of crime within their jurisdictions by conditioning a state's receipt of relevant DOJ grant funding on the adoption of certain pro-law enforcement measures."

The legislation should include provisions to fight no cash bail policies and stop subsidizing activities that "promote the Left's pro-criminal agenda." The bill should also 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."

To be sure, such policy measures are being crafted to give a platform to Republican incumbents and challengers in 2020 House races against Democrat opponents, as the GOP tries to retake control of the lower chamber. 

Yahoo News reports that recent data shows the U.S. recorded its largest-ever annual increase in homicides in 2020, compared to 2019, based on statistics from the FBI. 

The homicide rate rose nearly 30% in 2020 and increased again by 5% in 2021. Violent crimes such as mass shootings and assaults have also increased since 2019, according to Yahoo. 

Banks also wrote that there should be robust federal prosecution.

"Congress should ensure that the Department of Justice re-institutes the Trump-era policy — rescinded by the Biden administration — that ensured federal prosecutors charged the highest offense rather than a lesser included offense as means of skirting mandatory minimums," Banks wrote.

"Conservatives should seek to codify the Trump-era policy that prosecutors involved in a drug prosecution explicitly state in court the quantity of drugs possessed by the defendant at the time of arrest."

He also called for lawmakers to "strengthen federal criminal laws by enhancing penalties against violent, repeat offenders" related to drug trafficking. 

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