House Set to Rein in Trump’s Officers at Protests with Amendments from García, Bonamici, Blumenauer, Castro

July 29, 2020
Press Release
Amendments would ban unidentified officers, use of force at protests

WASHINGTON, DC– Today the House advanced a plan from Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) to curtail the ability of federal law enforcement officers to intervene in constitutionally protected protests across the country.

The House is set to consider legislative language led by the lawmakers that would ban unidentified Department of Justice and Department of Defense officers from participating in protests; prohibit the indiscriminate use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and other displays of lethal or less-lethal force at protests; and more. The amendments will be debated Thursday as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 Department of Defense (DOD) and Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bills. 

“President Trump is swarming our streets with federal agents to score political points and inflate his ‘law and order’ credentials,” said Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García. “It is clear he is willing to dismiss the civil liberties and safety of those in our cities to advance his political agenda. Our message to the President is simple. ‘Your tactics and your troops are unwelcome in our cities. Not here. Not ever. Not on our watch.”

“The anonymous officers Trump sent to Portland have violated the rights of protestors and exacerbated tensions in our community. We cannot and will not allow this to continue in Portland or occur anywhere else,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “I encourage all of my colleagues to join our stand against Trump’s authoritarian actions and put in place important safeguards to rein in federal officers and hold them accountable.”

“While Portland is Trump’s current target, any city could be next,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “We cannot stand for the administration’s abuses of power any longer. Our amendments will help Congress rein in these secret police forces before they harm more protestors and inflame tensions elsewhere.”

“President Trump’s use of federal agents to escalate tensions and harm peaceful protestors must be reined in,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro. “These actions are a clear abuse of executive power. Congress has a responsibility to keep our communities safe and hold this administration accountable.”

The DOD amendment can be found here. The CJS amendment can be found here.