Sen. Cruz: It is a Cynical and Calculated Lie From the Biden White House That it is Anybody Other Than Democrats Who are Leading the Foolhardy Charge to Abolish and Defund the Police
Delivers remarks on the Senate floor
July 22, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, this week delivered remarks on the Senate floor in support of law enforcement and called out Congressional Democrats and members of the Biden administration for leading the charge to defund the police as crime rates rise in major cities. Read his full remarks below.
WATCH: Cruz: Dems Have Called to Defund the Police, They're Trying to Blame Republicans for Rise in Crime
"I rise today to discuss facts and fiction. Recently, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki about a Biden administration official claim that Republicans have defunded the police by not voting to pass Biden's wasteful $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. Psaki doubled down on the idea that it is Republicans and not Democrats who want to defund the police. When a White House press secretary gives a press briefing, you expect some spin, you expect some verbal bobbing and weaving if the topic is unflattering to the administration. But when Jen Psaki tried to blame Republicans for defunding the police, it wasn't spin. It was horse manure, it was gaslighting.
"For over a year, Democrats and left-wing activists have been calling over and over again to defund the police, and many Democrat-led city councils and Democrat mayors have done so cutting and even slashing police budgets. As a result of those reckless policies, we are seeing a deeply concerning wave of violent crime in American cities across the country. The chief White House spokesperson blaming Republicans for defunding the police is like an arsonist showing up at the fire and blaming the firemen. It's like the Chinese Communist Party blaming America for the Wuhan virus. It's like OJ saying he's going to help find the real killer. It's absurd. It's ridiculous. And Democrats know it.
"Let's look at the facts. Democrats have called explicitly to defund the police for over a year and have been successful in doing it. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, last summer pledged to cut the NYPD budget by $1 billion. And then he did so. New York City passed a budget that did indeed cut $1 billion from the police department. Just a couple of months ago, de Blasio was forced to backtrack, and he realized what a terrible decision it had been because now he's working to reverse it.
"AOC, the darling of the extreme left-wing, has said quote, ‘Defunding the police means defunding the police,' and, ‘The fight to defund the police continues.' There's not a lot of ambiguity in what AOC is saying, and she's not alone. How about Representative Rashida Tlaib. She has called for, ‘No more policing.' Stop and think about that for a minute. This is an elected Democratic member of Congress; whose policy objective is no more policing. Those are her own words. How about representative Ilhan Omar. She has said, ‘You can't really reform a department that is rotten to the root.' An elected Democratic member of Congress describing police departments as rotten to the root. Again, those are her words. And then there's Representative Ayanna Presley, who has introduced legislation to defund police officers in public schools. And she has said that, ‘defunding the police is about true reparations.'
"Well, maybe this is just a few fringe Democrats in the House of Representatives. Maybe it's not a broader policy of the Democratic Party. What about Joe Biden? Uncle Joe can't possibly support defunding the police, right? Well, if you thought so, you'd be wrong because Joe Biden nominated two of the leading advocates of abolishing the police, Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clark, two senior positions at the U.S. Department of Justice. One of them is the number three official at the Department of Justice. The other is the head of Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. Both had written as recently as last year explicit calls for defunding the police, and they got rewarded with helping run the Department of Justice.
"But surely you might say, even if Joe Biden gave in to the activists that nominated these folks, there are Democrats in this chamber that would say defunding the police is too much. Let's not go that far. Well, if you would say that, you would be wrong. Because both of those nominees, two of the leading advocates for defunding the police, were confirmed when every single Democrat in this chamber voted to confirm them - 100 percent. The next time you see a Democrat describing themselves as moderate, reasonable, not one of those crazies saying things like defund the police, maybe you should ask them why they voted to confirm two of the leading advocates for defunding the police to senior positions at the Department of Justice.
"Democrat-led city councils all over the country are following the same game plan. And they have voted over and over again to defund the police last year. Los Angeles City Council cut the police budget by $50 million. Portland cut $15 million from its police budget. Minneapolis cut $8 million from its police budget. Seattle cut its police budget by 18 percent. Now, what do these cities have in common? They are run by Democrats. It is Democrat politicians who are slashing police budgets. And what are the results been? Well, sadly, these Democrat-led cities are reaping what they sowed.
"Crime rates are skyrocketing. The New York Times, hardly a right-wing outfit, the New York Times has reported that homicides in Los Angeles increased 36 percent, that homicides have increased in Portland more than 82 percent, and that homicides in Minneapolis increased nearly 72 percent last year. And by all appearances, these homicides spikes will continue throughout this year. Just a few weeks ago, Democrats demonstrating that they couldn't learn from the tragic failure of other cities that slashed the police and saw homicides skyrocket. What did they do in Oakland, California? The City Council voted to cut over $18 million from the police department. And Oakland has already seen a 90 percent increase in homicides over last year.
"The New York Times has also reported data showing that in 2020, homicide rates increased more than 30 percent in big cities. And so far, they're increasing again this year. According to The Guardian, some preliminary data show that there were 4,000 more murders in 2020 than there were in 2019. Four thousand men, women, and children that would be living, breathing, living their lives, raising their kids, contributing to the diverse tapestry of our nation if it were not for the radicals slashing police budgets because of extreme ideological commitments and unleashing these crime waves.
"Now, Democrats know the politics and the policy of defunding the police aren't working for them, which is why they're desperately trying to backtrack and blame and gaslight Republicans. Yeah, it's the Republicans that are doing this. Sure, sure. That's the ticket. Not only did some Democrats blame calls to defund the police for close races that they lost in November, and for the razor-thin Democrat majority in the U.S. Senate, they also know it isn't popular with the American people.
"A recent USA Today poll found that only 18 percent of Americans support defunding the police, and a large majority of African Americans don't support defunding the police. The same is true for Democratic voters. A large majority of Democratic voters don't support defunding the police. But in defiance of the interests of their constituents, Democrats continue to go down that road. The facts are that Democrats have repeatedly called to defund the police, and they've done so. This isn't a theory; they have done so in many cities. Crime is rising, and radical Democratic policies have had deadly consequences. Not only have homicides risen, but there were more law enforcement officer fatalities in 20 than there have been in 46 years. In 2020 264, law enforcement officers tragically died in the line of duty, some from COVID-19 as a result of being first responders and others from getting shot while on duty.
"After Jen Psaki blamed Republicans for defunding the police, Peter Doocy asked her to name the Republicans who said they were voting against the American Rescue Plan, the massive left-wing spending plan that had nothing to do with the police. It was shoveling a lot of money to liberal special interests, was giving money to states and local governments. And so, the White House argument was well, some of the money to state local governments could theoretically have gone to police. So, therefore, if you don't vote for the massive trillions of dollars in spending, you really want to defund the police. Well, unsurprisingly, Psaki couldn't name a single Republican who said they wanted to defund the police or who gave defunding the police as a reason for not voting for Biden's $1.9 trillion pork-filled spending bill.
"The fact of the matter is Republicans are proud to support the police, to stand with the men and women in blue. While Democrats are demonizing and vilifying the brave men and women of law enforcement, I want to say thank you to every law enforcement officer in this country. On the federal level, on the state and local level, thank you for answering the call each day, putting on the uniform, wearing the badge, and risking your life to keep us safe. This morning, all across this country law enforcement officers woke up, they kissed their husband or wife goodbye, they kissed their kids goodbye, and they went out to defend our communities, and they did so not knowing if they would come home that night. We are proud to stand with the men and women of our police departments.
"When it comes to facts and fiction, it is a cynical and calculated lie from the Biden White House that it is anybody other than Democrats who are leading the foolhardy charge to abolish and defund the police. It's dangerous. Crime rates are skyrocketing. And it's an exceptionally bad idea."