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June 29, 2020

Friends,

Last week in Washington was historical for all the wrong reasons. As our nation faces complex challenges from COVID-19 to social unrest, people looked to Congress to see what actions they would take to heal a nation that is obviously hurting.

We had an opportunity before us to make real and lasting change for the betterment of all people. Instead, we were shown one of the ugliest and most cynical displays of political gamesmanship I have ever seen. In the Senate, my friend Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) had a police reform bill that was largely composed of bipartisan measures. In fact, about 80% of his bill included provisions that Democrats had advocated for – similar to a discussion draft of legislation I released earlier this month. We offered to make changes and allow as many amendments as Democrats. Yet rather than work together, Democrats refused to even allow debate on Sen. Scott’s bill. Think about that for a minute. We’ve watched for weeks as people took to the streets around the country to demand action, yet Democrats in Washington decided those voices did not even deserve to be heard through an open debate.

Similarly, in the House of Representatives we also had a chance to enact powerful reforms. However, Democrats took the opposite approach and forced a vote on a bill that had zero input from Republicans and was jammed through committee without accepting any constructive input or amendments. I offered a proposal to stop police unions from protecting bad cops that would have passed easily, but Democrats blocked my amendment from even being considered because I have an “R” next to my name.

You should be outraged that Democrat Leaders in Washington would rather have an issue to use in an election than work with Republicans to bring our country together and solve a problem. They are counting on you, the American people, not being smart enough to see through their cynical game. And they know they can count on the media to help them fool you. They claim the Republican bill wasn’t strong enough, but refused all offers to make the changes they suggested. Washington Democrats want you to believe the failure to get real reform is the fault of the Republicans, when they shut us out of the process and blocked us from having an open debate in the Senate.

Don’t let them get away with this con. Americans must demand our elected representatives work together to get the reform all people of good will demand. We owe it to the memory of George Floyd and to good police officers who risk their lives to protect us every day. I am committed to continuing to fight for meaningful reform.

As we have this debate, protests continue across the country. While many of those who gather are peacefully protesting to show their frustration and demand change, there are those who have hijacked the protests and taken away the national spotlight. These anarchists, aided by un-educated individuals who don’t know our history, seek only to destroy property and deface monuments, no matter who or what they stand for. These include a statue in Wisconsin of the abolitionist Hans Christian Heg, who disrupted the activities of slave catchers, advocated for the education of prisoners and former slaves, and died fighting for the Union Army. In our state, a World War II monument at Evergreen Cemetery in Charlotte was defaced with paint and graffiti. The monument commemorated 500 Mecklenburg County residents who died in WWII.

In our nation’s capital, even a statue of Abraham Lincoln honoring the end of slavery has come under attack. This statue was paid for by former freed slaves and dedicated by Frederick Douglas. Make no mistake, those who seek to destroy these reminders of the progress we’ve made as a nation and heroes who have fought to defend our freedoms are not advocates for a brighter future. They are only seeking to create conflict and destroy our history.

We cannot allow these shameful acts and mob rule to overshadow the greatness of our country, just as House Democrats should not obstruct bipartisan reform in the interest of scoring political points. While this week was a setback, I refuse to let this be the end. I remain committed to fighting for meaningful reform and ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stop with the political games, unite, and answer the cries heard across the country.
 

Until next week

Richard Hudson

Member of Congress (NC-08)




 


 



 


 


 





 



 




 





 

 



 








 



 



 


 



 





 




 



 








 





 






 




 

 



 



 

 





 

 








 



 


 

 

 

 

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