John Boehner praised the response of federal, state, and local law enforcement in the Boston area, while his House budget slashed funding for the hiring and training of cops.
After suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody, the Speaker said, “Tonight, the thanks of a grateful nation go out to every single federal, state, and local law enforcement official who went above and beyond to apprehend the Boston bombing suspect. It was a job well done under trying circumstances, to say the least. We are also proud of the people of Boston and Watertown for showing great resolve and assisting authorities throughout the ordeal. This has been a long day and a long week, but along the way we have gained many examples of courage and character. Humbled and inspired, let us now turn all our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. God bless America.”
That all sounds well and good, until you realize that the budget that Republicans passed in the House cuts federal funding for the hiring and training of local and state police officers.
According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, federal grant programs for hiring and training state and local law enforcement officers are slated for big cuts in the House passed budget.
Public safety programs that are threatened with large cuts under the Ryan budget include:
Justice Assistance Grants (JAG). Most of these grants go to help local law enforcement agencies train police officers, supply them with police cars, bulletproof vests, and other equipment, and cover overtime. The rest help states and localities operate other aspects of their criminal justice systems, including prosecuting criminals, taking other actions to reduce crime, and protecting victims and witnesses.
Funds to hire state & local police officers (COPS). These funds help state and local law enforcement agencies hire police officers. In 2012, these grants helped to fund or maintain more than 800 law enforcement positions nationally.
This hypocrisy is nothing new. Last year, Boehner issued a statement praising first responders in Aurora, CO for their quick actions, while the House’s 2012 budget called for deep cuts in federal funding for first responders. In 2011, House Republicans tried to slash $100 billion in funding for first responders. While running for vice president last year, Rep. Paul Ryan praised first responders on 9/11, while proposing a $12 billion cut in first responder funding.
If you want to know how Republicans feel about law enforcement and first responders, don’t listen to their words. All you have to do is read their budgets to understand where the Republican Party’s true priorities are. If House Republicans are grateful for the jobs that law enforcement officers and first responders do, they could show their appreciation by not trying to slash their budgets.
When it comes to praise from John Boehner and his House Republicans, actions really do speak louder than words.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association