Cruz, Cornyn, 37 Republicans Push 'Back the Blue Act' with Swift & Tough Penalties

“Across Texas and the nation, law enforcement officers dutifully–and often heroically–act to protect our communities. . . "

Texas Insider Report: (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has joined Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and 37 colleagues in introducing the Back the Blue Act. This legislation would increase penalties for criminals who target law enforcement officers and provide new tools for officers to protect themselves. Sen. Cruz previously introduced this bill alongside Sens. Cornyn and Tillis.

Upon introducing the bill, Sen. Cruz said:

“Across Texas and the nation, law enforcement officers dutifully – and often heroically – act to protect our communities. Too often, rather than gratitude, officers face  threats of violence and harm.

"This cannot and should not be tolerated. Criminals who kill or attempt to kill law enforcement officers should be met with the full force of the law.

"I am proud to stand with my colleagues in support of the Back the Blue Act to ensure that happens,” said Cruz.

Sen. Cornyn said:
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to serve families across Texas. Violent criminals who target those who protect our communities should face swift and tough penalties, and the Back the Blue Act sends that clear message.”

Background on the Back the Blue Act:
  • Strengthens laws to protect police officers
    • Creates a new federal crime for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if death results; the offender would otherwise face a minimum sentence of 10 years.
    • Creates a new federal crime for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer with escalating penalties, including mandatory minimums, based on the extent of any injury and the use of a dangerous weapon. However, no prosecution can be commenced absent certification by the Attorney General that prosecution is appropriate.
    • Creates a new federal crime for interstate flight from justice to avoid prosecution for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for this offense.
  • Creates a specific aggravating factor for federal death penalty prosecutions
    • Clarifies that the murder or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer or first responder is a statutory aggravating factor for purposes of the federal death penalty.
  • Limits federal habeas relief for murders of law enforcement officers
    • Imposes time limits and substantive limits on federal courts’ review of challenges to state-court convictions for crimes involving the murder of a public safety officer, when the public safety officer was engaged in the performance of official duties or on account of the performance of official duties. These changes are consistent with the fast-track procedures created in 1996, which are applied to federal death penalty cases.
  • Expands self-defense and second amendment rights for law enforcement officers
    • Allows law enforcement officers, subject to limited regulation, to carry firearms into federal facilities and other jurisdictions where such possession is otherwise prohibited.
This legislation is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), and the Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD.

The legislation is cosponsored by:
  1. Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
  2. Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
  3. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
  4. John Boozman (R-Ark.)
  5. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)
  6. Katie Britt (R-Ala.)
  7. Ted Budd (R-N.C.)
  8. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
  9. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
  10. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.)
  11. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
  12. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)
  13. Steve Daines (R-Mont.)
  14. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
  15. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)
  16. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
  17. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)
  18. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.)
  19. Josh Hawley (R-Mo)
  20. John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
  21. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.)
  22. John Kennedy (R-La.)
  23. James Lankford (R-Okla.)
  24. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)
  25. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.)
  26. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)
  27. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.)
  28. Jim Risch (R-Idaho)
  29. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
  30. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)
  31. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
  32. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
  33. John Thune (R-S.D.)
  34. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.)
  35. Todd Young (R-Ind.)
  36. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), and
  37. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
Sen. Cruz is fighting for security for Texas.
  •  Sen. Cruz has led numerous groups of legislators on trips to the U.S.-Mexico border to document the unrelenting crisis there under Joe Biden’s open borders agenda.
  • Ted introduced the WALL Act to fully fund the wall along the southern border, and the EL CHAPO Act, which would use money forfeited to the U.S. government as a result of the criminal prosecution of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” and other drug kingpins for border security and the completion of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  •  Sen. Cruz is sponsoring the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, which would ensure local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration authorities, and would pull taxpayer-funded grants going to sanctuary cities.
  • He continues to fight for “Kate’s Law” to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for anyone trying to illegally reenter the United States after being expelled.
  • Sen. Cruz led the fight to get the Department of Justice to designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.
  • He sent a letter to the Department of Justice and FBI calling for an investigation into Antifa and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
  • Sen. Cruz took a stand against Antifa and introduced the Restitution for Economic losses Caused by Leaders who Allow Insurrection and Mayhem or RECLAIM Act, legislation to hold state and local officials liable when rioters establish lawless “autonomous zones” and officials abdicate their duty to protect their citizens.
  • Sen. Cruz led the fight to examine how groups like Antifa and other anti-American anarchists exploit peaceful protests and engage in political violence.
  • Sen. Cruz’s bipartisan bill to reopen cold cases from the Civil Rights era became law.
  • Sen. Cruz is sponsoring “Eric’s Law,” which aims to deliver justice for victims and their families in federal death penalty cases.
  • Sen. Cruz led efforts to honor the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety.