Huffman Joins Legislation to Block Federal Paramilitary Occupations in Portland and Other American Cities

July 23, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA-02) announced his support as an original cosponsor of H.R. 7719, the Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on America’s Streets Act, a new bill to block the Trump administration from deploying federal forces as a shadowy paramilitary against Americans. The bill is led by Oregon’s Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01) and U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

“What we have witnessed in Portland is a horrific display of the ‘secret police’ tactics that fascist regimes deploy,” said Rep. Huffman. “What President Trump is doing does not reflect the American democracy that we love, and it is clear that he and his enablers plan to take similar unconstitutional actions in cities around America in the lead up to the November 3 election. Congress must block this dangerous escalation and enforce the rule of law.” 

This legislation comes after a week in which heavily armed federal forces without badges in unmarked vehicles have deployed munitions and tear gas against protesters in Portland. The unconstitutional federal incursion has inflamed conflict in Portland at a time when local and state elected officials are working to de-escalate friction between protesters and police, and the federal law enforcement presence has been opposed by Portland’s and Oregon’s elected leaders. 

Specifically, the Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on America’s Streets Act would:

  • Require individual and agency identification on uniforms of officers and prevent unmarked vehicles from being used in arrests.
  • Limit federal agents’ crowd control activities to federal property and its immediate vicinity, unless their presence is specifically requested by both the mayor and governor.
  • Require disclosure on an agency website within 24 hours of deployments specifying the number of personnel and purposes of deployment.
  • Make arrests in violation of these rules unlawful.