Pete Sessions raises concerns about police budgets, Russian military threats

Media Credit: Anthony Peltier | Staff Photographer

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said students majoring in humanities should spend their time in college listening to opinions from across the political spectrum.

A U.S. representative from Texas spoke before about 50 students at the University Student Center amphitheater Tuesday, airing his concerns about limited police spending and the risk of foreign Russian invasion.

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, reflected on his academic and professional career at the event, discussing how social justice movements have pressured governments into defunding the police and stressing the need to forge diplomatic ties with Ukraine to deter potential military conflict with Russia. GW College Republicans hosted the talk, which was moderated by senior Patrick Burland, the organization’s chairman.

Sessions kicked off the event by reflecting on his early interest in politics and government, which developed as he read about the benefits of market capitalism and the democratic process where private citizens can elect their own leaders. He said students studying topics like political science and economics should use their time in higher education to listen to opinions and ideas from across the political spectrum and form their own political ideologies.

“I think it’s always important for you as students to have an idea about your expectations of your country,” he said at the event.

Sessions said he’s concerned that cities like Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregon are becoming increasingly unsafe because of cuts to local police department budgets, which could slow the response process and lower officers’ safety in emergency situations. He said calls to defund the police during Black Lives Matter protests last May have influenced the drop in funding.

“What I will tell you is that the police are unfairly treated,” he said. “They make house calls because people call them to be there and there’s somebody that’s a victim, and now many times they are that person.”

Sessions said BLM protesters from the last two years took advantage of the lack of law enforcement in cities like Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, which was unjustified and led to serious injuries. He said government officials should support officers to combat rioters and looters who pose a threat to American civilization, but endorsing alt-right groups like the Proud Boys is not the solution.

“It’s not so cool when your wife is not safe,” he said. “It’s not so cool when somebody comes and takes you out of your car and beat you up, or when you have a disabled child or when you need to get somewhere. You need orderly processes where you need people who can help.”

He said President Joe Biden’s administration should also take a “clear” stance against Russian military intervention in Ukraine because of a recent increase in Russian military forces in the region. He said the U.S. military could retaliate from bases in Norway and Turkey in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He said unlike the administration of former President Donald Trump, Biden’s support for America’s international democratic allies has been unclear. Sessions said the United States should commit to protecting free countries, like Ukraine and Taiwan, which seek democratic independence through military and diplomatic force.

He said foreign relations remains a complicated issue, and that the administration should be “prepared” to defend American allies abroad but also tread lightly when necessary.

“We have to be careful, and it’s a very difficult time,” he said. “So I think that we should be prepared.”

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