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House GOP Drops Scheduled Vote on Progressive Prosecutors

A bill targeting progressive prosecutors whom Republicans consider too lenient is facing a wall of opposition from libertarian-leaning members of Congress. Hard-right lawmakers have effectively blocked legislation that would require law enforcement officials running background checks on firearm purchasers to report if a prospective buyer is in the U.S. illegally. House Republicans’ bill to crack down on immigration at the border with Mexico has been derailed by a faction in the party who regard it as overly restrictive, fearing it would effectively end asylum in the U.S. Six weeks into their majority, Republican leaders are paralyzed on some big issues they promised to address as they pressed to win control of the House, amid internal policy disputes that have made it difficult to unify their tiny, ideologically diverse majority, reports the New York Times.

“We’re doing everything we can right now to lose the majority in two years,” said Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), “It is independent, swing, purple districts that got us the majority — barely got us the majority. We nominated candidates that couldn’t win general elections; we floundered on the post-Roe era.” Republican leaders scrapped a scheduled vote on a bill by Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), that would require prosecutors to report statistics including the number of cases they declined to prosecute for certain crimes. The measure was supposed to be part of a tough-on-crime message Republicans are pushing, as they criticize the Biden administration and Democrats for being too lenient at a time of rising crime. The same ultraconservative members who resisted voting to elect Kevin McCarthy speaker for a week last month objected to the bill, arguing that the legislation was an overreach by Congress that violated states’ rights. Other lawmakers argued that the reporting requirements would be too onerous for local prosecutors already struggling with staffing issues.

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