Scott Joins Grassley, Colleagues In Targeting Crime, Strengthening Law Enforcement
WASHINGTON – Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and 18 Republican colleagues in introducing a broad package to clarify and strengthen violent crime laws related to attacks on law enforcement, bank robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and other offenses. The Combating Violent and Dangerous Crime Act resolves discrepancies brought on by conflicting court decisions and clarifies congressional intent regarding crimes of violence and their respective penalties.
“The rampant crime in communities across the country is exacerbated by confusion about the tools and statutes prosecutors can use to crack down on criminals,” said Senator Scott. “This legislation will give law enforcement the legal clarity and efficiency they need to deter criminal activity, creating safer neighborhoods for our families.”
“Communities across the country are seeing steep rises in attacks on police, carjackings and other violent crimes, and Americans have taken note, with crime being a leading concern in recent elections. This bill includes a number of small fixes that will go a long way in improving justice and preventing future crimes by clearing up ambiguity in existing law. Congress recently took bipartisan action to block a Washington, D.C., law to reduce penalties for violent crime amid a crime surge. I invite my fellow Democrat colleagues to build on that bipartisanship and support this important bill,” said Senator Grassley.
Joining Senators Scott and Grassley are Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Risch (R-Idaho), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.).
The Combating Violent and Dangerous Crime Act addresses ambiguity and conflicting application of existing law by clarifying congressional intent without establishing sweeping new offense categories. Among other provisions, the bill:
- Clarifies that attempted bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery are punishable under the current bank robbery statute;
- Rectifies conflicting circuit court decisions that have resulted in a higher burden to charge offenses like assaulting a police officer than Congress intended;
- Increases the statutory maximum penalty for carjacking and removes a duplicative intent requirement needed to charge a carjacking offense;
- Rectifies conflicting circuit court decisions by clarifying that an attempt or conspiracy to commit an offence involving physical force meets the legal definition of a crime of violence;
- Outlaws the marketing of candy-flavored drugs to minors; and
- Establishes a new category of violent kidnapping offences, allowing for greater penalties for violent kidnapping.
Full text of the Combating Violent and Dangerous Crime Act can be found here.
Senator Scott’s past work on combatting crime and protecting American communities includes the following:
- Pushing the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, which would allow local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and pull taxpayer-funded grants to sanctuary cities;
- Advocating for the Safe Kids, Safe Schools, Safe Communities Act of 2022, which would enhance school security and double the number of school resource officers in America’s schools, invest in school mental health professionals and reduce gun violence;
- Supporting the Fairness for Crime Victims Act, which would ensure that crime victims receive the funding promised to them through the Crime Victims Fund (CVF); and
- Passing the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law.