DC Dispatch: Axne Pushes for Rural Police Funding; GOP lawmakers slam ‘anti-law enforcement rhetoric’

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It was National Police Week, and members of the DC Iowa delegation took to social media to offer additional federal funding for rural police departments, thank law enforcement, and criticize the democratic policy proposals.

Iowa officials in the nation’s capital also condemned protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, introduced legislation to address supply chain issues and endorsed additional aid to Ukraine.

Delegation recognizes police week with rural policy proposal, criticizes Democrats

Rep. Cindy Axne, the lone Democrat on the Iowa delegation, called on the House to pass the Invest to Protect Act, a bill that would provide more federal funding for rural police departments. Departments with fewer than 200 officers would be eligible for the new grant program.

“There is no better way to honor #NationalPoliceWeek than to pass my Invest to Protect Act, a bipartisan bill that will help equip small police units with the resources they need for de-escalation training, retention efforts and mental health support,” said tweeted Axene. “Let’s do it.”

Republican representatives tweeted their thanks to the police officers.

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst lambasted Democrats for their “anti-law enforcement rhetoric” at a press conference Thursday. Grassley said there was an increase in violent crime in Democratic-run cities due to “the removal of police, progressive prosecutors and failed bail reforms.”

“The data shows that blue cities in (Republican) states drive crime, so put blue cities aside, and red states are much, much safer,” Grassley said.

USA Today fact checkers found that while homicide rates had increased in some major cities, it was too early to determine whether an increase in crime caused by policies such as defunding the policeor if it was more directly related to the financial turmoil and upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grassley seeks protection from Supreme Court justices

Following the release of a Supreme Court draft opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade if adopted, abortion rights advocates demonstrated outside the homes of conservative judges, rallying against the potential ruling.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki encouraged protesters to remain peaceful. She said Biden does not object to protests outside a judge’s home.

“I know there’s outrage right now, I guess, about the protests which have been peaceful so far, and we certainly continue to encourage that, outside of the judges’ homes. And that’s the position of the president,” Psaki said on Tuesday, According to The Hill.

Grassley wrote a letter to the Justice Department, asking them to condemn any attempts to “threaten and intimidate the judges.”

“The president may choose to characterize protests, riots and incitement to violence as mere passion,” grassley wrote. “But these attempts to influence and intimidate members of the federal judiciary are an affront to judicial independence.”

Republican leaders in the House and Senate have argued that protesting Supreme Court justices is illegal, because it could be considered bullying.

House members introduce supply chain bill

Axne, along with Rep. Ashley Hinson and Rep. Randy Feenstra, co-sponsored a bill to create a task force dedicated to improving America’s food supply chain.

“By identifying and eliminating pinch points in our supply chain, we can reduce the cost of groceries and other household items for Iowa families and our rural communities,” Feenstra said in a statement.

The bill comes as the country faces a shortage of infant formula.

Read more: Biden announces plan to address formula shortage

House approves additional funding for Ukraine, Biden signs defense assistance bill

Biden on Monday signed a bill that makes it easier for the United States to send military aid to allies around Ukraine. Ernst welcomed the measure.

“Defending freedom in Ukraine is defending freedom everywhere, and we must ensure that Ukrainians receive the lethal help they need to defend themselves,” she said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the House passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, which includes military assistance, weapons and money to deal with food shortages. The four members of the Iowa House voted for.

Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, blocked passage of the bill in the Senate.

Hinson announces more FEMA money for derecho recovery

The City of Cedar Rapids will receive $13 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hinson announced on Friday.

“Cedar Rapids is still recovering from the devastating derecho of 2020,” Hinson said. “As we continue to recover, I will continue to advocate for our community in Congress and work to bring federal resources home.”

Hinson also announced $684,000 in grants directed to the 1st District, which she said would support affordable housing and derecho recovery efforts.

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