Gage Skidmore/The Star News Network U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar speaking with attendees at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore/The Star News Network

One of the GOP lawmakers trying to downplay the violent and deadly insurrection by supporters of Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has introduced an amendment to a legislative funding bill that would defund the Capitol Police.

The amendment filed by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) would block any funds to the Capitol Police “until security footage of the United States Capitol from January 1 through 6, 2021, is released to the public.”

Gosar’s amendment continues his protest of what his colleague Louie Gohmert (R-TX) called the “harassment and persecution” of the insurrectionists who violently broke into the Capitol, injuring 140 law enforcement officers in the process, in an effort to block the transfer of power from former President Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

Defending Capitol Riotors

On Tuesday, Gosar and three other GOP lawmakers held a news conference at the Department of Justice to protest the “treatment” of the people arrested and charged for their actions on Jan. 6. The news conference, held by Gosar and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Gohmert (R-TX), did not go well: Protesters disrupted it with whistles and chants, leading a staff member to end it early.

Gosar has also led the charge to turn Ashli Babbitt, a woman who was shot to death as she attempted to break onto the House floor on Jan. 6 while members of Congress were being evacuated, into a martyr.

“Six months ago today, Ashli Babbitt, a 110-pound woman with nothing in her hands, not a rock, not a stick or a bat, was shot dead by a still unknown Capitol Hill police officer,” Gosar said in a statement on July 6. “Her death has been ruled a homicide. Yet, we have very little information about her death. Our fake news media has asked no questions or sought information about this tragedy. So, I have. And now President Trump has joined me in seeking the truth.”

In April, the Department of Justice cleared the officer who shot Babbitt and closed the investigation without bringing charges.

Running Out of Money

Gosar’s attempt to defund the Capitol Police comes as the agency faces a number of crises.

Morale at the agency is low, with officers testifying on Tuesday at a hearing of the House select committee to probe the insurrection that they feel betrayed by the GOP lawmakers they are tasked to protect, as some of them continue to minimize the horrors they faced as they protected members of Congress from the mob.

CBS News reported earlier this month that the Capitol Police “is on the verge of running out of money” by mid-August if Congress doesn’t act.

If funding is not provided, officers could face furloughs, CBS reported.

Gosar’s amendment has virtually no chance of passing, as Democrats control the House and the amendment process.

However, his effort to block funding to the agency comes as Republicans falsely accuse Democrats of trying to “defund the police” and block money for law enforcement agencies across the country.

“If only there were a snappy slogan for this,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted in response to Gosar’s amendment.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.