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Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Crime

Democratic Representative (FL-20)


Voted YES on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes.

Congressional Summary:Adopts the definition of "hate crime" as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person. Provides technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of hate crimes, including financial grant awards.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN CONYERS (D, MI-14):This bill expands existing Federal hate crimes law to groups who are well-known targets for bias-based violence--they are sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability. These crimes of violence are directed not just at those who are directly attacked; they are targeting the entire group with the threat of violence.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LAMAR SMITH (R, TX-21): Every year thousands of violent crimes are committed out of hate, but just as many violent crimes, if not more, are motivated by something other than hate--greed, jealousy, desperation or revenge, just to name a few. An individual's motivation for committing a violent crime is usually complex and often speculative. Every violent crime is deplorable, regardless of its motivation. That's why all violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted. Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system--equal justice for all. Under this bill, justice will no longer be equal. Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim. It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime. This is the real injustice.

Reference: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act; Bill HR.1913 ; vote number 2009-H223 on Apr 2, 2009

Voted YES on expanding services for offenders' re-entry into society.

H.R.1593: Second Chance Act of 2007: Community Safety Through Recidivism Prevention or the Second Chance Act (Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass). To reauthorize the grant program for reentry of offenders into the community in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and to improve reentry planning and implementation.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. CONYERS: Some 650,000 men and women are leaving the Federal and State prisons each year. While the vast majority of the prisoners are committed to abiding by the law and becoming productive members of society, they often encounter the same pressures & temptations that they faced before prison. More than two-thirds of them are arrested for new crimes within 3 years of their release. This exacts a terrible cost in financial terms as well as in human terms. The Second Chance Act will help provide these men and women with the training, counseling and other support needed to help them obtain & hold steady jobs; to kick their drug and alcohol habits; rebuild their families; and deal with the many other challenges that they face in their efforts to successfully rejoin society.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. GOHMERT: The programs that are sought to be renewed are ones we don't have information on how successful they were. I can tell you from my days as a judge, there was some anecdotal evidence that it looked like faith-based programs did a better job of dramatically reducing recidivism. In addition:

Reference: Second Chance Act; Bill HR1593 ; vote number 2007-1083 on Nov 13, 2007

Establish a domestic violence volunteer attorney network.

Wasserman Schultz co-sponsored establishing a domestic violence volunteer attorney network

National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network Act - Authorizes grants to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence to work in collaboration with the American Bar Association Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and other organizations to create, recruit lawyers for, and provide training, mentoring, and technical assistance for a National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network.

Requires the Office on Violence Against Women of the Department of Justice to designate five states in which to implement the pilot program of a National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Referral Project and distribute funds under this Act.

Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study and report to Congress on the scope and quality of legal representation and advocacy for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, including the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Source: Domestic Violence Attorney Network Act (S.1515/H.R.6088) 07-S1515 on May 24, 2007

Increase funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program.

Wasserman Schultz co-sponsored increasing funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program

COPS Improvements Act of 2007 - Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to make grants for public safety and community policing programs (COPS ON THE BEAT or COPS program). Revises grant purposes to provide for:

  1. the hiring or training of law enforcement officers for intelligence, antiterror, and homeland security duties;
  2. the hiring of school resource officers;
  3. school-based partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and local school systems to combat crime, gangs, drug activities, and other problems facing elementary and secondary schools;
  4. innovative programs to reduce and prevent illegal drug (including methamphetamine) manufacturing, distribution, and use; and
  5. enhanced community policing and crime prevention grants that meet emerging law enforcement needs.
    Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to:
  1. assign community prosecutors to handle cases from specific geographic areas and address counterterrorism problems, specific violent crime problems, and localized violent and other crime problems; and
  2. develop new technologies to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in crime prevention.
Source: COPS Improvements Act (S.368/H.R.1700) 07-S368 on Jan 23, 2007

Harsher sentencing for "pill mill" operators.

Wasserman Schultz signed Pill Mill Crackdown Act

    The Pill Mill Crackdown Act of 2011: Amends the Controlled Substances Act to:
  1. double the term of imprisonment and triple the fine for the prohibited distribution of a schedule II or schedule III controlled substance by the operator of a pill mill,
  2. increase the penalties for such operator distribution of a controlled substance to a person under age 21 from twice to thrice the maximum punishment or term of supervised release authorized, and
  3. exclude such operator distribution from the applicability of provisions authorizing an alternative fine of not more than twice the gross profits or other proceeds derived by a defendant from a drug offense.
      Expresses the sense of Congress that such prohibited operator distribution is a violation for which certain property is subject to forfeiture.
      • Requires the proceeds from disposition of such property to be used for controlled substance monitoring programs in the states and for block grants to states for community mental health services and for prevention and treatment of substance abuse.
      • Changes the classification of specified quantities of dihydrocodeinone from a schedule III to a schedule II controlled substance.
      Source: H.R.1065 11-HR1065 on Mar 14, 2011

      2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Crime: Debbie Wasserman Schultz on other issues:
      FL Gubernatorial:
      Jeb Bush
      Marco Rubio
      Rick Scott
      FL Senatorial:
      Bill Nelson
      Marco Rubio



      Lame-duck session 2012:
      KY-4: Thomas Massie(R)
      MI-11:Dave Curson(D)
      NJ-9: Donald Payne Jr.(D)
      WA-1: Suzan DelBene(D)

      Re-seated Former Reps:
      AZ-1: Ann Kirkpatrick(D)
      AZ-5: Matt Salmon(R)
      FL-8: Alan Grayson(D)
      IL-11:Bill Foster(D)
      NH-1: Carol Shea-Porter(D)
      NV-3: Dina Titus(D)
      NY-24:Dan Maffei(D)
      TX-36:Steve Stockman(R)

      2013 Resignations and Replacements:
      AL-1:Jo Bonner(R,resigned)
      IL-2:Jesse Louis Jackson(D,resigned)
      IL-2:Robin Kelly(D)
      MA-5:Ed Markey(D,to Senate)
      MA-8:Stephen Lynch(D)
      MO-8:Jo Ann Emerson(R,resigned)
      MO-8:Jason Smith(R,elected June 2013)
      SC-1:Tim Scott(R,resigned)
      SC-1:Mark Sanford(R)
      SC-1:Elizabeth Colbert-Busch(D)
      Newly-elected Democrats:
      AZ-9: Kyrsten Sinema
      CA-2: Jared Huffman
      CA-7: Ami Bera
      CA-15:Eric Swalwell
      CA-24:Julia Brownley
      CA-29:Tony Cardenas
      CA-35:Gloria Negrete McLeod
      CA-36:Raul Ruiz
      CA-41:Mark Takano
      CA-47:Alan Lowenthal
      CA-51:Juan Vargas
      CA-52:Scott Peters
      CT-5: Elizabeth Esty
      FL-18:Patrick Murphy
      FL-22:Lois Frankel
      FL-26:Joe Garcia
      HI-2: Tulsi Gabbard
      IL-8: Tammy Duckworth
      IL-10:Brad Schneider
      IL-12:Bill Enyart
      IL-17:Cheri Bustos
      MD-6: John Delaney
      MA-4: Joe Kennedy III
      MI-5: Dan Kildee
      MN-8: Rick Nolan
      NV-4: Steven Horsford
      NH-2: Annie Kuster
      NM-1: Michelle Lujan-Grisham
      NY-5: Grace Meng
      NY-10:Hakeem Jeffries
      NY-18:Sean Maloney
      OH-10:Joyce Beatty
      PA-17:Matt Cartwright
      TX-16:Beto O`Rourke
      TX-20:Joaquin Castro
      TX-23:Pete Gallego
      TX-33:Marc Veasey
      TX-34:Filemon Vela
      WA-6: Derek Kilmer
      WA-10:Denny Heck
      WI-2: Mark Pocan
      Newly-elected Republicans:
      AR-4: Tom Cotton
      CA-1: Doug LaMalfa
      CA-21:David Valadao
      CA-41:Paul Cook
      FL-3: Ted Yoho
      FL-6: Ron DeSantis
      FL-19:Trey Radel
      GA-9: Doug Collins
      IL-15:Rodney Davis
      IN-2: Jackie Walorski
      IN-5: Susan Brooks
      IN-6: Luke Messer
      KY-6: Andy Barr
      MI-11:Kerry Bentivolio
      MO-2: Ann Wagner
      MT-0: Steve Daines
      NY-26:Chris Collins
      NC-8: Richard Hudson
      NC-9: Robert Pittenger
      NC-11:Mark Meadows
      NC-13:George Holding
      ND-0: Kevin Cramer
      OH-2: Brad Wenstrup
      OH-14:Dave Joyce
      OK-1: Jim Bridenstine
      OK-2: Markwayne Mullin
      PA-4: Scott Perry
      PA-12:Keith Rothfus
      SC-7: Tom Rice
      TX-14:Randy Weber
      TX-25:Roger Williams
      UT-2: Chris Stewart
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      Page last updated: Jun 16, 2013