Oops! Texas Rep Lance Gooden says his sole GOP vote on House police reform bill was a total accident

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A Texas Republican with a 100 percent “lifetime score” from the Heritage Foundation “accidentally” voted with Democrats on Wednesday to pass a bill that House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has warned would “defund the police.”

In Rep. Lance Gooden’s defense, he claims that he immediately corrected the mistake once he realized what he’d done.

“I accidentally pressed the wrong voting button and realized it too late. I have changed the official record to reflect my opposition to the partisan George Floyd Policing Act,” he announced in a since-deleted tweet, according to The Hill.

In a follow-up tweet that hasn’t been deleted, he touted his conservative track record.

“I have arguably the most conservative/America First voting record in Congress! Of course I wouldn’t support the radical left’s, Anti-Police Act. I have changed the official record to reflect my opposition!” the congressman wrote.

Look:

But as of Thursday morning, the roll call for H.R. 1280, the “George Floyd Justice in Police Acting,” had not yet been updated to reflect this.

Look:

(Source: U.S. House)

However, according to the Heritage Foundation’s “Heritage Action for America” group, Gooden’s votes have been in-line with conservative interests 100 percent of the time. Thus, there’s really no reason to distrust him.

The bill passed 220-212 (Gooden’s initial vote for the bill included), with Wisconsin Rep. Ron Kind and Maine Rep. Jared F. Golden being the only Democrats to vote against it.

According to NPR, the bill would ban chokeholds, qualified immunity and no-knock warrants. It’d also “mandate data collection on police encounters, prohibit racial and religious profiling and redirect funding to community-based policing programs.”

Following the bill’s passage Wednesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a tweet accusing Democrats of having “just voted to defund the police.”

“The unfunded mandates in their bill, H.R. 1280, would cost police departments hundreds of millions of dollars—the equivalent of taking 3,000 cops or more off the streets. Our men and women in uniform deserve better,” he wrote.

Other top Republicans echoed this rhetoric.

Look:

In a particularly salient statement, Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson slammed Democrats for defunding the very people whose services they’ve repeatedly relied on to keep them safe from “imminent” threats of violence.

Law enforcement officers in Iowa and across this country put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. It’s reprehensible that House Democrats would bring forward legislation to defund police departments while relying on law enforcement to protect our Capitol from imminent threats—in a Chamber safeguarded by Capitol Police,” she said.

In a statement of his own, Democrat Rep. Golden didn’t accuse the bill of defunding the police, but he did raise concerns about eliminating qualified immunity for police officers.

“Eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement officers could result in unintended consequences for both individual law enforcement officers and the profession as a whole,” he said.

“Even so, there is room for lawmakers to clarify the intent of Section 1983 to ensure that American citizens’ rights are safeguarded while still ensuring law enforcement officers retain appropriate protections while on the job,” he added.

California Rep. Karen Bass, the Democrat who penned the bill, views things differently. If anything, she hopes H.R. 1280 is just the beginning and that more anti-police bills soon follow.

“[T]he United States House of Representatives has voted to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which is just the first step to transform policing in America by raising the standards for policing in America, and holding officers who fail to uphold the ethic of protecting and serving their communities, accountable,” she said in a statement.

She reiterated this in a speech on the House floor, describing the bill as “just the first step.”

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Vivek Saxena

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