Owens Remarks on the House Floor in Response to H.R. 1280

Mar 03, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) delivered the following statement, as prepared for delivery, on the House Floor in opposition to H.R. 1280.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 1280.

“I spent the last week talking with law enforcement officials in Utah. These men and women are heroes—they are good, honest officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. I asked them about H.R. 1280. Here is what they said. And I quote:

  • “This will destroy public safety.”
  • “We haven’t done anything to earn this type of distrust.”
  • “This will push good law enforcement out of the business.”
  • “Utah is an amazing place. We have the right people protecting us. Let’s keep them here.”

“Police reform is necessary—we need to give officers the tools they need to fairly enforce the law. But this legislation paints a target on the back of every police officer in America.

“In Salt Lake City last year, we saw a 38% increase in homicides. At the same time, Salt Lake cut $5.3 million from the police department’s budget. It should be no surprise that voluntary resignations doubled.

“This bill will make good officers flee the profession when we need them the most. Democrats won’t say it, but this bill simply defunds the police. Not in Utah’s Fourth District. Not now. Not ever.

“Thank you, and I yield back.”


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