U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington State broke with Republican leaders in Congress yesterday, proposing to restore $78 million to a federal program that helped Seattle’s King County hire dozens of deputies when he was sheriff, the Seattle Times reports. The freshman Republican lost badly in his attempt to amend the U.S. Justice Department appropriations bill. In trying to reverse cuts to the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, Reichert angered Frank Wolf, a longtime GOP representative from Northern Virginia who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department budget.
Wolf yelled as he denounced Reichert’s proposal for shifting money from federal law enforcement to COPS. The amendment lost 297-130. Wolf cited the deaths of his constituents in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and suggested that Reichert’s proposal would devastate the country’s war on methamphetamine. “This amendment would basically take away all of the money in the bill for gangs,” he said. Reichert responded that cutting COPS funding meant that there is no real partnership between local and federal officials.