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The Washington Report – Oct. 2, 2020

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: October 2, 2020

Just after midnight on Sept. 30, the President signed into law a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government and all its departments, agencies and programs through Dec. 11, 2020, averting a government shutdown. With that out of the way, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held last minute talks this week in an effort to revive a bipartisan COVID relief package before Congress adjourns for recess until after the November elections; On Sept. 26, President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on Sept. 18, 2020. The death of Justice Ginsburg and the subsequent nomination of  Barrett, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Seventh Circuit, has heightened an already tense pre-election political environment on Capitol Hill; On Oct. 1, U.S. District Judge John Bates found that the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) by appointing only law enforcement as Commissioners and by holding closed meetings without advance public notice. The Judge ordered the Commission to halt its work until it comes into compliance with FACA; NAPO threw support behind two bills to create new federal offenses for impeding access to emergency services. Penalizing Radicals and Others who Thwart Emergency Care and Transportation for (PROTECT) Law Enforcement Officers Act of 2020 (S. 4662), would penalize anyone who knowingly prevents a law enforcement officer from accessing emergency medical services for any injury suffered in the line of duty or from a criminal act. The Stop Blocking Hospitals Act (S. 4602) would make it a federal offense to obstruct any ambulance, fire department vehicle, law enforcement vehicle, or other emergency vehicles or personnel from responding to an emergency; and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Senate version of the Protect and Serve Act (S. 4605), which would provide for new criminal provisions for deliberate, violent targeted attacks on officers. According to a report from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), 87 officers were shot and 14 died in ambushes or premeditated, calculated assaults in 2019. This trend appears to be only increasing in 2020.

For more on these and other legislative issues, please click on the Oct. 2, 2020 Washington Report below.

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