House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that “Defund the Police” was not a policy that was being pursued by the Democratic Party, despite the continued insistence of freshman Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO).
Pelosi joined ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning’s broadcast of “This Week” to discuss the Russian threat against Ukraine, the upcoming midterm elections, and whether or not she intended to seek another term as House Speaker — and the topic turned to Bush’s insistence on repeating the slogan.
.@SpeakerPelosi says “defund the police” is “not the position of the Democratic Party" as lawmakers remains split over how to address crime.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 13, 2022
“The other thing that’s weighing on people right now is rising crime,” Stephanopoulos began, adding, “And there appear to be some divisions among Democrats about how to handle it. Your colleague Karen Bass, running for Mayor of Los Angeles, is trying to increase the police force in L.A. Cori Bush, Congresswoman from Missouri, is saying it’s time to defund the police, she’s sticking by that.”
“You’re the Speaker, how do you think Democrats should address rising crime?” he asked.
“Well, with all the respect in the world for Cori Bush, that is not the position of the Democratic Party,” Pelosi replied. “Community safety, to protect and defend in every way, is our oath of office. And I have sympathy, I’m — we’re all concerned about mistreatment of people and that’s why Karen Bass had the Justice in Policing Act, and we would hope to get some of that done.”
Pelosi went on to say that there was certainly room to reform issues like no-knock warrants or choke holds, but that the Democratic Party was not going to adopt “defund the police” as a policy position.
“Make no mistake, community safety is our responsibility,” Pelosi continued. “And I quote one of my colleagues from New York, Ritchie Torres, a brand new member of Congress, way on the left, saying that ‘Defund the Police is dead.’ That causes a concern with a few in our caucus, but public safety is our responsibility and I support what Karen Bass is doing and Mayor Adams of New York.”
Bush, who said a number of members of Congress had asked her to back off the “defund the police” rhetoric, doubled down on her position last week. As The Daily Wire reported:
“‘Defund the police’ is not the problem,” Bush said to the D.C.-based media outlet, referring to the potential shellacking Democrats will take in the 2022 midterms.
The real problem, Bush asserted, is that the Democrats in power have not passed any legislation to accurately reform police and tackle crime.
“We dangled the carrot in front of people’s faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver, when we haven’t totally delivered,” she continued. “If [Republicans] take the majority, it’s just done as far as trying to get the legislation across.”
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