House Republicans (with a Few Dozen Dems) Celebrate National Police Week with “Law and Order” Pandering.

This week was National Police Week, and the House GOP decided to celebrate by passing two bills that pander to the “law and order”/“tough on crime” crowd while doing nothing to make communities safer.

The first was the Thin Blue Line Act, which requires that federal courts consider the murder, attempted murder, or targeting of police, firefighters, and first responders as an “aggravating circumstance” when determining whether or not capital punishment is warranted. The bill, at best is unnecessary and duplicative because there are already state and federal laws that guarantee harsh treatment in such cases. However, given that more and more people are starting to oppose the death penalty given the racial biases in its use, the immorality of state murder, and the possibility of false accusations, entrenching the death penalty is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. Moreover, the bill is an assault on federalism, given that some states currently ban the death penalty and the Thin Blue Line Act would override that.

The bill passed easily 271 to 143. 4 Republicans joined the majority of Democrats in voting against it, and 48 Democrats joined Republicans in voting for it.

The 4 Republicans were Justin Amash (MI-03), Tom Massie (KY-04), Paul Mitchell (MI-10), and Chris Smith (NJ-04).

Here are the 48 Democrats:

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)

Ami Bera (CA-07)

Sanford Bishop (GA-02)

Cheri Bustos (IL-17)

Salud Carbajal (CA-24)

Matt Cartwright (PA-17)

Kathy Castor (FL-14)

Lou Correa (CA-46)

Jim Costa (CA-16)

Charlie Crist (FL-13)

Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

Val Demings (FL-10)

Ted Detuch (FL-21)

John Garamendi (CA-03)

Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15)

Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)

Gene Green (TX-29)

Denny Heck (WA-10)

Brian Higgins (NY-26)

Derek Kilmer (WA-06)

Ron Kind (WI-03)

Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08)

Al Lawson (FL-05)

Dan Lipinski (IL-03)

Stephen Lynch (MA-08)

Sean Maloney (NY-18)

Grace Meng (NY-06)

Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)

Donald Norcross (NJ-01)

Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)

Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)

Jimmy Panetta (CA-20)

Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)

Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)

Scott Peters (CA-52)

Collin Peterson (MN-07)

Mike Quigley (IL-05)

Jacky Rosen (NV-03)

Raul Ruiz (CA-36)

Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)

Adam Schiff (CA-28)

Kurt Schrader (OR-05)

Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

Darren Soto (FL-09)

Mike Thompson (CA-05)

Bennie Thompson (MS-02)

Norma Torres (CA-35)

Filemon Vela (TX-34)

The second bill was the Probation Office Protection Act of 2017, which would allow federal probation officers the ability to arrest, without warrant, anyone whom they believe to be obstructing their ability to do their job. The formal mission of probation officers is “to bring about long-term positive change in individuals under supervision.” This will not advance that mission and does not respond to an existing need.

The bill passed 227 to 179. 37 Democrats voted for it with the Republicans, and 33 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against it.

Here are the 37 Democrats:

Brendan Boyle (PA-13)

Matt Cartwright (PA-17)

Jim Cooper (TN-05)

Lou Correa (CA-46)

Joe Courtney (CT-02)

Charlie Crist (FL-13)

Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

Pete DeFazio (OR-04)

John Delaney (MD-06)

Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)

Anna Eshoo (CA-18)

John Garamendi (CA-03)

Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)

Brian Higgins (NY-26)

Hank Johnson (GA-04)

Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)

Bill Keating (MA-09)

Ron Kind (WI-03)

Jim Langevin (RI-02)

Al Lawson (FL-05)

Dan Lipinski (IL-03)

Stephen Lynch (MA-08)

Sean Maloney (NY-18)

Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)

Richard Neal (MA-01)

Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)

Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)

Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)

Collin Peterson (MN-07)

Jacky Rosen (NV-03)

Kurt Schrader (OR-05)

Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

Albio Sires (NJ-08)

Jackie Speier (CA-14)

Tom Suozzi (NY-03)

Mike Thompson (CA-05)

Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18) offered an amendment to request a comprehensive study on the new authority of probation officers and sunset that authority 30 months after enactment.

It failed 178 to 229. 7 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for it, and 11 Democrats joined Republicans in voting against it.

Here are the 7 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)

Morgan Griffith (VA-09)

Walter Jones (NC-03)

Tom Massie (KY-04)

Alex Mooney (WV-02)

Bill Posey (FL-08)

Mark Sanford (SC-01)

Here are the 11 Democrats:

Jim Cooper (TN-05)

Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)

Jim Himes (CT-04)

Gregory Meeks (NY-05)

Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)

Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)

Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)

Collin Peterson (MN-07)

Albio Sires (NJ-08)

Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Pete Welch (VT-AL)