Hagerty, Blackburn Introduce the Restoring Law and Order Act

September 16, 2022

NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Restoring Law and Order Act in response to the violence plaguing communities across America. Compared to mid-2019, America’s largest cities have seen a 50% increase in homicides and a 36% increase in aggravated assaults. In Tennessee, Memphis has experienced a series of shockingly violent crimes.

“Violent crime has become an epidemic in this country. As a direct consequence, American communities need more police officers and prosecutors—not more IRS agents,” said Senator Hagerty.” President Biden, Vice-President Harris and congressional Democrats encouraged the defund-the-police movement, which predictably led to less policing and soft-on-crime policies across America. Now the tragic results of this approach are on full display, with American cities and towns far less safe. Yet, instead of addressing this obvious crisis in order to save lives, President Biden and Democrats just spent $80 billion to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to target hard-working Americans. Our legislation will rescind this wasteful, intrusive spending and give it to state and local law enforcement agencies to protect Americans from violent crime. Government’s basic job is to keep its citizens safe—not snoop on them—and this bill addresses this urgent need.”

“We need to increase funding for law enforcement, root out weak on crime prosecutors and judges, and keep violent criminals locked up,” said Senator Blackburn. “Senator Hagerty and I are introducing the Restoring Law and Order Act to ensure state and local law enforcement agencies have the resources needed to combat violent crime and improve the processing of DNA evidence such as rape kits. It is sad that in Washington, Democrats have made heroes out of criminals and turned police officers into villains. The defund the police movement is demanding compassion for criminals, but not their innocent victims. Senator Hagerty and I believe we must fund, not defund, the police and are proud to Back the Blue. This legislation will provide much-needed resources to our brave law enforcement officers so they can hunt down violent criminals and keep Tennesseans safe.”

The Restoring Law and Order Act Will Increase Resources for Law Enforcement by Establishing a Federal Grant Program To:

  1. Hire more police officers and detectives, so that states can better target violent crime.
  1. Provide funding for law enforcement agencies to target drug-related crimes such as fentanyl, which killed over 69,000 people in 2021.
  1. Detain and deport illegal aliens who have committed crimes in the United States.
  1. Use public safety tools such as bail and pretrial detention to prevent dangerous offenders from returning to communities.

The Restoring Law and Order Act Will Improve the Processing of Rape Kits By:

  1. Requiring the Government Accountability office to study the deficiencies in processing rape kits and availability of the test kits.
  1. Giving state and local governments the funds to eliminate investigatory backlogs and more-quickly process criminal evidence.

Senators Hagerty and Blackburn recently sent President Biden a letter demanding he take swift action to eliminate soft-on-crime policies that have emboldened criminals.

Senators Hagerty and Blackburn also held a press conference to discuss the need to keep violent criminals in jail and support law enforcement.

Click here for the bill text.