Biggs called on Jackson Lee, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, to schedule a hearing on the matter in a letter signed by all 10 Republicans on the subcommittee, as well as Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
“Violent crime is exploding in cities across America that have defunded the police,” Biggs said in a Wednesday statement. “These Democrat-run cities have maliciously attacked and smeared our police forces, but can’t understand why our officers are leaving the field in droves and why crime rates continue to sky-rocket.”
He added that lawmakers “must defend the thin blue line and restore law and order by holding the Democrats accountable for this destructive agenda.”
Jackson Lee’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.
Calls from progressive federal, state and local lawmakers to “defund” police departments or reduce state and citywide police budgets became popularized after then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, a Black man, more than a year ago. The slogan has become commonplace among protesters, political pundits and progressive politicians.
Other more moderate Democrats have pushed back against the phrase as an idea that could be damaging to the party. Spikes in violent crime in major U.S. cities recorded over the last year have some officials questioning the effectiveness of the idea.
“The reckless decisions to defund police forces — and the Biden administration’s apathy towards these actions — have had a real effect on American communities,” Biggs wrote in the letter. “Homicides have increased in many of the cities that have defunded their police forces.”
He noted that anti-police rhetoric and calls to reduce funding have “led to a decrease in officer retention rates for police departments,” early retirement among veteran officers and difficulty recruiting new officers.
Minneapolis has been ground zero for the “defund the police” movement in the wake of Floyd’s death. Though Chauvin was found guilty in Floyd’s death in April, unrest has continued and violence has escalated.
In February, the city backtracked on its original push to defund the police department after residents begged the city to hire more officers, citing longer response times and increased violent crime.
Other major cities that have recorded increasing violent crime have shifted police funding toward other community services to meet protesters’ demands for alternative policing options in hopes of reducing police violence against minorities.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio cut the New York Police Department’s budget by $1 billion; Los Angeles approved a $150 million police budget cut; Philadelphia approved a $33 million police budget cut in June; Portland, Ore., cut $16 million from its police budget; and a number of other cities have approved similar reductions.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.
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