Fox News anchor Chris Wallace interviewed Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) on Sunday, and things quickly went off the rails when he asked about a vote against the Democrats emergency coronavirus relief bill that included police funds.
“Today Joe Biden is being held hostage in the White House by ‘the Squad’ and the radicals in the Democrat Party who control their party who have spent the last year’s stigmatizing one of the most honorable professions in America in our law enforcement,” Banks said. “It’s not just about defunding the police, which they fully support, but over the last year, they talked about stripping qualified immunity, protections for police officers who do their job. They talk about cashless warrants and decreasing sentences as well, cashless bail, excuse me, and decreasing sentences.”
“Congressman Banks, let me push back on that a little bit because of the program that he announced this week,” Wallace stated, according to The Wrap. “The president said that the central part in his anti-crime package is the $350 billion in the American Rescue Plan, the COVID relief plan that was passed. Take a look at what the president said.”
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Wallace then played a video in which Biden said, “It means more police officers, more nurses, more counselors, more social workers, more community violence interrupters to help resolve this before they escalate into crimes.”
“Congressman Banks, you voted against that package, against the $350 billion, just like every other Republican in the House and Senate, So can’t you make the argument that it’s you and the Republicans who are defunding the police?” Wallace said, to which Banks responded, “Not at all, Chris. Let’s go back and look at the record over the last year, the comments that Democrats have made to Rashida Tlaib —”
Wallace then interrupted him to say, “No, no, sir, respectfully, wait, sir, respectfully, I heard you make that point, but I’m asking you there’s $300 billion in this package, the president says can be used for policing.”
“The point that I’m making is important,” Banks continued.
“Let me finish, and I promise I will give you a chance to answer,” said Wallace. “The president is saying cities and states can use this money to hire more police officers, invest in new technologies and develop summer job training and recreation programs for young people. Respectfully, I’ve heard your point about the last year, but you and every other Republican voted against this $350 billion.”
“When Representative Omar says that policing is rooted in evil and Nancy Pelosi compares officers to stormtroopers, it very difficult for police officers around the country to recruit people to become police officers,” Banks added. “That’s the crisis we find a police department all over the country. You can give them more funding, and that’s good, but if they can’t recruit people to become a police officer because we’ve stigmatized one of the most honorable professions in America.”