Eddie Bernice Johnson’s Courageous Stand for '94 Crime Bill Shows She’s Wiser Than Her Progressive Critics

There is an old saying that you can’t fully understand a problem unless you’ve lived through it. And this applies to the growing furor over lawmakers who voted for the 1994 federal crime bill. Democratic progressives have weaponized the vote for the bill as a litmus test to determine views on criminal and racial justice reform.As exhibited on the last Democratic presidential debate stage, liberal progressives relentlessly demand a pound of flesh from anyone who supported the measure, including Joe Biden, the bill’s author and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time. By doing so, they paint a vote for the bill as a rejection of reasonable criminal justice reform. Nothing can be more myopic. That’s why we are pleased that U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, dean of Texas’ congressional delegation, isn’t playing this game. Johnson is one of the few Democrats still in Congress who voted for the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act during a time when Americans were demanding greater safety in their communities.She says today, correctly, that the bill was a proper response to deadly crack cocaine and violent crime epidemics of the time. “I’m not sorry,” Johnson recently told the Texas Tribune. “If the circumstances were the same today as they were back then, I would do the same thing.”   Continue reading...

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