Jim Jordan, Val Demings get in shouting match about police during hearing
A House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday devolved into a screaming match after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) interrupted Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) as she criticized an amendment put forward by House Republicans.
Demings was criticizing a proposed amendment to a hate crimes bill that would prevent police agencies from being defunded. NBC News noted that the bill itself does not have a provision taking away funds from police departments.
The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), encourages the reporting and review of anti-Asian hate crimes relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
Demings, a former Orlando police chief, addressed Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), saying, “I want to make it quite clear that this amendment is completely irrelevant.”
“I served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years. It is a tough job and good police officers deserve your support,” Demings continued. “You know, it’s interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support the police when it is politically convenient to do so. Law enforcement risk their lives everyday. They deserve better.”
Jordan then loudly interjected, leading Demings to shout back, “I have the floor, Mr. Jordan. Did I strike a nerve?”
“Law enforcement officers deserve better than to be used as pawns!” Demings shouted back to Jordan.
Nadler attempted to rein in the lawmakers and stopped the clock.
“I want to admonish members,” Nadler said. “They must not interrupt someone who has their time. You simply can’t shout out.”
Nadler’s admonishment sparked a round of finger-pointing between lawmakers, with Jordan pointing to Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Demings.
When Jordan began to speak over Nadler, Demings exclaimed, “This is emotionally charging for me because I was a law enforcement officer. I have watched them give and die and you know nothing about that and to utilize them as political pawns pisses me off!”
Demings, who served in the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, retired from the force in 2011 before entering politics.
Nadler permitted Jordan to state a point of order, but swiftly cut him off, stating his remarks were not a point-of-order.
“Mr. Chairman, I’m glad to hear my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are on the side of law enforcement now, because I don’t know where my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been over the last four years including on January 6th when police officers who protect us everyday were fighting for their lives because of the big lie that was told,” Demings said once she was ultimately given time to speak.
“But now today, you support law enforcement. Well that’s … I’m delighted to know that, but don’t support them when it’s politically convenient for you to do so,” Demings said.
Jordan later shared a video of himself defending Republicans for standing by law enforcement during protests last summer.
“And today we get a lecture about how we have to be consistent? You have got to be kidding me,” he said. “We’ve been consistent, you guys haven’t — and you guys know it. That’s why you’re all so fired up.”
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 20, 2021
The exchange came less than a week after Jordan was told by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to “shut your mouth” after he got into an argument with President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, during a hearing.
Water later said on Sunday that she made her sharp remark to Jordan because she felt the congressman was “bullying” Fauci.
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