Odessa Police Chief Testifies on Capitol Hill During National Police Week

Rep. August Pfluger

Unfortunately, the "Defund the Police" movement has infected our country. We’ve forgotten what it means to support real-life heroes, the men and women in law enforcement who serve our communities every day.

Extreme budget cuts, rogue legal reforms, and media bias against law enforcement have resulted in significant recruitment and retention challenges for state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide. These factors are not only preventing law enforcement from carrying out their duties to protect Americans, but they are also impeding police agencies across the homeland from having the resources to train their officers properly.

Our nation must restore a sense of appreciation for the men and women who wear the uniform, protect our communities, and are willing to sacrifice their own lives for the betterment of their communities.
I’m proud that Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke came to Washington to advocate for law enforcement officers in our community and beyond during National Police Week. He testified in front of the subcommittee I chair within the Homeland Security Committee.

Chief Gerke did a wonderful job testifying about the persistent challenges facing law enforcement agencies in the Permian Basin by saying“The most persistent challenge does not involve crime per se. It involves the resources needed to fight crime, namely personnel. Like many law enforcement agencies across America, the Odessa Police Department is significantly short of Police Officers.” 

He also highlighted the rising drug problem as well as a recent joint information-sharing initiative between the Odessa Police Department and the Midland Police Department.

Watch highlights of the hearing here.

I am proud to have supported New York Representative Andrew R. Garbarino's legislation, the Protect Our Law Enforcement with Immigration Control and Enforcement (POLICE) Act of 2023. This bill passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 255-175 and would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to explicitly state that assaulting a law enforcement officer is a deportable offense.

Law Enforcement officers deserve our support now more than ever, and this legislation is one step Congress can take to protect our men and women in blue.

Riley Gaines on Being Held Hostage
After being forced to share a locker room and then compete against biological male Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA Women’s Swimming Championship, All-American swimmer Riley Gaines became one of the strongest voices in the Nation speaking up to protect women's sports.

She testified in front of the Homeland Security committee this week detailing her harrowing experience last month when she was held against her will for ransom by protestors at San Francisco State University. As a father of three daughters, her story was sickening to hear.
When I asked her how it felt that the President of San Francisco State University sided with the protestors, she said: "We've used the term domestic terrorists a lot ... and that's constantly something I get called by left-leaning protestors for simply saying women deserve fairness, we deserve safety, we deserve privacy, and we deserve respect. It's disheartening to be in the position I'm in feeling like I'm asking for the bare minimum. I'm feeling like I'm asking for something that is so simple that we all are entitled to, yet I'm being held hostage."
The intolerant Left's treatment of Riley Gaines has been unacceptable. I am committed to standing up for women and supporting Riley and her cause. Watch more here or below.

Durham Report Confirms "Russia Collusion" Was a Hoax
On Monday, Department of Justice Special Counsel John Durham released his long-awaited report on the Russia collusion hoax perpetrated by Democrats since the 2016 election.

In the report, Durham confirmed that the FBI used “raw, unanalyzed and uncorroborated intelligence” to justify their investigation, the basis of a years-long hoax of government officials of all levels lying to the American people.

This report raises serious questions about how the FBI handles politically sensitive investigations and reveals the double standard used against President Trump. I fully support House Judiciary Jordan's efforts to get to the bottom of this abuse of power and bring accountability.

Hearing from Energy Experts in HEAT Meetings
As the Chairman of the House Energy Action Team (HEAT), I am committed to telling the story of the men and women in the energy industry who, through hard work and innovation, have unlocked abundant American energy and lifted a billion people out of poverty.

It has been an honor to host important discussions about the importance of American energy and the challenges facing the industry.

So far, we've heard from:
  • Harold Hamm, Founder and Executive Chairman of Continental Resources and Executive Chairman of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance,
  • Chris Wright, Director of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance,
  • Travis Stice, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Diamondback Energy,
  • Leaders from The American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC)—a national trade association representing the largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the United States.
Learning directly from these energy experts is incredibly important as we look to reshape the Biden Administration's failing energy policy.
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