WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Carlos A. Gimenez (FL-26) issued the following statement after partisan election reforms and dangerous restrictions on police departments were voted on in the House of Representatives:
“In another week of partisan hackery, I voted against two pieces of legislation on topics that would have had the potential for bipartisan input in a normally-functioning Congress. I lament the fact that Republicans are not given a fair chance to help craft legislation or any legitimate opportunity to provide amendments on the floor. Instead, we are asked to engage in a ‘my way or the highway’ approach to governing.
“Rather than bringing Republicans and Democrats to the table on election reform, Speaker Pelosi put forward some of the most egregious attacks on our election systems. H.R. 1 included provisions that take your hard-earned money and give it to campaigns. For every $200 a want-to-be-politician receives in donations, the federal government will use Americans’ taxpayer dollars to give them $1,200. This effectively forces you, the American taxpayer, to finance political campaigns you do not support.
“Ultimately, this bill weaponizes the FEC into a partisan commission and throws out common sense voter ID laws. As one of the only Members of Congress who has actually had to implement election protocols, I speak on authority when it comes to our elections – the bill is a travesty for all Americans.
“In a normal functioning Congress, Speaker Pelosi would bring together Republicans and Democrats to discuss ways to push needed police reforms. But in this dysfunctional Congress, we got a bill that stripped our frontline police officers from qualified immunity, which in turn will hurt recruitment efforts for the police force and decimate a security presence for cities that need it the most.
“As Mayor of Miami-Dade County, I was actually responsible for ensuring my community was kept safe from lawlessness. I understand firsthand the importance of qualified immunity for police officers to carry out their jobs. Officers perform vital tasks requiring split-second decisions under intense circumstances. Taking away qualified immunity will lead to police officers not taking decisive actions and rendering it impossible to do their job. Without this security, officers will resign and deplete our police force, leaving our communities – the very ones who need a strong police force the most - less safe and costing the lives of many Americans.”