Houston Police chief Art Acevedo on Monday lambasted Republican senators for their failure to take action on gun violence and the long-stalled Violence Against Women Act after a city police sergeant was fatally shot while responding to an incident of domestic violence.
Acevedo singled out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence Overnight Health Care — Presented by That’s Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments GOP senators worry Trump made ‘problematic’ concessions in trade deal MORE (R-Ky.) and Texas’s Republican senators, Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference GOP counsel says both Ukraine, Russia interfered in 2016 U.S. elections MORE and John CornynJohn CornynHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence GOP senators worry Trump made ‘problematic’ concessions in trade deal On The Money: White House, Dems edge closer to trade deal | GOP worries about Trump concessions | DOJ argues Congress can’t sue Trump on emoluments | Former Fed chief Volcker dies MORE, saying during a press conference that he did not “want to see their little smug faces [saying] how much they care about law enforcement when I’m burying a sergeant because they don’t want to piss off the [National Rifle Association],” The Guardian reported.
The comments from Acevedo came just two days after Sgt. Christopher Brewster was shot and killed after responding to a call from a female victim who reported that her boyfriend assaulted her and was armed with two guns.
A 25-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged with capital murder, Houston police said Sunday.
“We’ve got to get the Violence Against Women Act acted upon,” Acevedo said, referring to legislation that first passed in 1994 and lapsed during last year’s government shutdown. “We’ve got to get in a room. I don’t want to hear about how much they support law enforcement, how much they care about lives and the sanctity of lives.”
“We all know in law enforcement that this is one of the biggest reasons that the Senate and Mitch McConnell, and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and others are not getting into a room and having a conference committee with the House, and getting the Violence Against Women Act, is because the NRA doesn’t like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends,” Acevedo continued.
He went on to plead with lawmakers to “make up your minds” and decide whose side they are on.
“Whose side are you on? Gun manufactures? The gun lobby? Or the children who are getting gunned down in this country every single day? In our schools, in our theaters, in our colleges, on our streets, in our homes, in our businesses. Who are you coming to work for?” he asked.
Cornyn and the National Rifle Association (NRA) did not immediately respond to requests for comments from The Hill.
The House in April passed the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act despite objections from the NRA and Republican lawmakers who said it went too far.
The reconstructed bill bars those convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing firearms. Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence Life after Yucca Mountain: The time has come to reset US nuclear waste policy Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick MORE (D-Calif.) attempted to gain consent to vote on the bill by the end of the year in November.
Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence GOP senators unveil bill to expand ‘opportunity zone’ reporting requirements Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick MORE (R-Iowa), who is introducing her own version of the legislation, objected, arguing that the House bill would not pass in the upper chamber.
Acevedo has been outspoken in his calls for lawmakers to take more action on gun reform. Earlier this month, he said on Twitter that it was past time for Cornyn, Cruz and McConnell “to lead & get the Violence Against Women Act to President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE.”
“Unfortunately, important legislation like this has fallen casualty to impeachment mania. We will keep trying to pass a bipartisan bill but it takes two (parties) to tango,” Cornyn tweeted in response, prompting Acevedo to argue that the Republicans were still passing legislation and confirming judges.
“Make women and families a priority, like you do the aforementioned,” he said.
“Don’t tell me, senator, with all due respect, it’s about the impeachment,” he added on Monday. “Because you brag every day, you and Mitch McConnell,about getting judges confirmed. You brag about every piece of legislation you care about.”
Senator, there are 24 hours in a day. The House is managing to get legislation out, and passed VAWA and other critical legislation. You, @tedcruz & @senatemajldr are passing legislation & confirming judges. Make women and families a priority, like you do the aforementioned.
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) December 5, 2019
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