Senate bill would cut funding to cities that allow autonomous zones
On Thursday, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (R) introduced legislation to stop federal funding for states and cities that obstruct the rule of law by allowing autonomous zones to exist.
The Ending Taxpayer Funding of Anarchy Act targets state and local officials who have abdicated the reserved powers of the state and allowed non-governmental actors to take up those responsibilities in their stead, according to the bill text.
“Local officials are letting chaos continue in their streets, and in some cases, preventing law enforcement from protecting the public,” Ernst said. “Anarchy cannot continue on our streets. If city officials or state leaders fail to do their job and protect their citizens, the federal government and American taxpayers aren’t going to pay for it.”
Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate, says allowing autonomous zones is not the America she knows or fought for. She says the bill is straight forward and holds local officials accountable to the people.
If the bill becomes law, any state or political subdivision found to be in violation, would have their federal funding cut for the fiscal year 2021 and each year thereafter if an anarchist jurisdiction exists within its borders.
The bill also stipulates that if any federal funds go to a non-compliant locality, the money would have to be returned and reallocated to states and cities that are following the law.
Autonomous zones have been appearing in cities across the country, most popular in Seattle, Washington where protesters seized a six-block area and named it Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ).
Ernst also recently spoke out against the destruction of monuments and statues by protesters around the country although she does support renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders.
“That is not a protest, that is vandalism,” she said. “Let’s have a real discussion, let’s sit down and work through these issues. We’re not going to find it by vandalizing statues, we’re not going to find it by inciting violence in the streets. That’s not how we will come to our solution.”
Ernst is running for reelection this year in Iowa in a race that has become closer than most expected. She became the first female elected to federal office from the state in 2014.
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