“As you notice this morning, members are dressed a little [differently]. Some of us went out earlier this morning and rode [bikes] with the Capitol Police, but everyone wanted to pay their respects and take part.
“During our ride I had some time to reflect during this National Police Week about the incredible work our men and women in blue do for us, and why they do it. I was reminded of the words of a San Diego police officer from last year who said: ‘I didn’t do this job to be liked every day, I didn’t do it to become rich. I did it because I want to be out there making a difference and helping people.’
“I know this has been a rough year. It’s been a rough couple of years for men and women in blue. The Republican conference not only wanted to say thank you, we wanted to be a part of this and be with you.
“There are a number of members with me today who wore the uniform. They understand what you’re going through and the struggles you have. But we want you to know each and every day that we thank you for your work.
“We thank you for being there in a time of need. We thank you when you save someone, even if they aren’t appreciative.
“So to all the officers out there: please know you are making a difference. You are helping people. We, the American people, appreciate your tireless work…
“Moments ago, I spent the morning and biked here with members of the United States Capitol Police Officers… I have the privilege of working with these men and women every day, and I can tell you that they work tirelessly to keep us safe every single day…
“We should all be showing our gratitude for those who protect our communities each and every day — not just during National Police Week. Especially when you think about the sacrifice that our law enforcement officers — and their loved ones — make to keep our communities safe.
“Every year, hundreds of law enforcement officers are killed in the line of duty.
“Their names are added to the National Police Memorial here in Washington D.C. as an enduring tribute to the fallen and a place of comfort for those who were left behind.
“This year, on its 30th anniversary, 394 more names were carved into this marble wall of heroes. Pause for one moment and think of that number – 394 more names. Those are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children that are not coming home…
“We pray for all of the heroes and families listed on the memorial wall. I want to pay special tribute [to the four] USCP personnel:
- Sergeant Chris Eney
- Detective John Gibson
- Officer J.J. Chestnut
- Sergeant Clinton Holtz
“And next year, three more officers will be added:
- Officer Brian Sicknick
- Officer Howard Liebengood
- Officer Billy Evans
“I am proud to lay two wreaths to honor the fallen officers from my district as well as the members of the Capitol Police who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us. And from my hometown, [Officer] David Nelson, whose name is on this memorial.
“Now more than ever, Congress must show our gratitude for the service and sacrifice of our fallen heroes.
“We should not talk about defunding the police, we should be talking about providing what they need to protect us.
“We should not make politics out of security and safety for our communities. We should respect those who risk and give their lives, just so [they can make a difference in their] community.
“That is why I am pleased to stand here today with my fellow House Republicans. We know the issues before us and are ready and willing to act to support law enforcement — just as we have in the past.”