‘The American people know crime is getting worse. And they know it hasn’t happened by accident… Democrats are struggling with the basics. This should not be this hard. Drugs belong off our streets. Career criminals belong behind bars. And far-left politicians who put innocent citizens last belong far away from the levers of power.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding law and order:
“Here are just a few scenes from across our country in the last few weeks.
“Thirty people were shot in Chicago this past weekend alone. That’s up from 21 the weekend before.
“In Philadelphia, police are investigating a carjacking spree that’s reportedly being carried out by armed juveniles. ‘They put a gun to my head and they took the van. I haven’t found it back again.’
“In San Francisco, just one neighborhood has seen a beating, an attempted robbery, a two-year-old suffering fentanyl poisoning after playing in the park, and 17 car windows smashed on one street in one night.
“Streets, neighborhoods, and cities across our country are being swamped by a level of crime that is unsafe, uncivilized, and unacceptable.
“My hometown of Louisville, Kentucky saw ten homicides in just the first ten days of 2023. And already five more since then.
“The latest additions to the list of 500-plus homicides we’ve seen since the start of this violent crime wave three years ago.
“As Louisville’s mayor said just a few weeks ago, ‘these are not just numbers, these are people.’
“Many of the individuals our city lost were young, just starting out their careers and families. Far too many were children, including a fourteen-year-old boy we lost just ten days ago.
“Of course, for every victim who lost their life to violent crime, there are even more who have been injured or traumatized or forced to live in fear. As one resident said: ‘I got to lock my doors all the time… I’m worried about my children going outside. It’s not fair.’
“He’s absolutely right. It’s not fair that once-safe neighborhoods have become war zones. It’s not fair that children are being murdered.
“Or look at what’s happening right here in the nation’s capital. In Washington D.C., law and order have been in freefall.
“Over the weekend, in broad daylight, a ride-share driver had his car stolen by a group of men brandishing rifles. City-wide, Washington is averaging a carjacking every day.
“Homicides this year are already up 17%.
“Just yesterday, two 18-year-olds, fresh off a carjacking spree in a nearby county, came right here to Capitol Hill, ran into two separate Capitol Police vehicles, and then tried to flee on foot. Fortunately, the USCP brought them into custody.
“Yet the D.C. City Council here is so completely captured by the woke far left, they have responded to this crime wave with a new criminal code that reduces penalties even further!
“Last week, the Council overrode the mayor’s veto and pushed through a measure that shreds the maximum punishment for gun crimes. It eliminates almost all mandatory minimum sentences. It will clog up the court system with massive expansions of new jury trials for misdemeanors.
“Well, the good news on this front is that the United States Congress gets to have the final word over reckless local policies from the D.C. government. Senate Republicans will have a lot more to say on this subject. Stay tuned.
“The American people know crime is getting worse. And they know it hasn’t happened by accident.
“From Los Angeles to Philadelphia to Chicago, the Democratic Party has backed radical district attorneys who have tried to unilaterally take parts of the local criminal code offline.
“They simply decline to prosecute serious crimes, from drug possession to criminal threats, as a matter of principle. In some cases, these woke prosecutors are seeking early release for felons convicted of violent crimes.
“Many other Democrats have spent years fanning the dangerous flames of the far left’s anti-police rhetoric. Of course, studies have proven that public hostility to the police leads directly to more crime — including more homicides — in the at-risk communities that need law and order the most.
“Furthermore, the Biden Administration and Senate Democrats have spent two years working to stack the federal judiciary with former public defenders and others whose sympathies lie more with criminal defendants than with innocent victims.
“Nobody’s arguing that criminal defenders should never become judges. But this has been a dramatic, deliberate transformation project that’s skewed overwhelmingly in one direction. Even the New York Times has admitted it’s been, ‘a sea change in the world of judicial nominations.’
“The Biden Administration never misses an opportunity to make crime even worse.
“Deaths from cocaine have quintupled over the past decade, but just a few weeks ago, this President and his Attorney General took the radical and borderline lawless step of unilaterally reducing the penalties for dealing crack.
“These liberals respond to soaring overdose fatalities by going even softer on drugs.
“Democrats are struggling with the basics. This should not be this hard. Drugs belong off our streets. Career criminals belong behind bars.
“And far-left politicians who put innocent citizens last belong far away from the levers of power.”