Congressman Neguse Calls for Gun Violence Prevention Funding Not to Be Cut From Reconciliation Bill
Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse led several of his colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer that calls for increased community violence intervention (CVI) program funding to be included in the final version of the Build Back Better Act. The letter highlights the negative emotional and economic impacts of endemic gun violence and proposes a robust community-based grant program to support innovative violence prevention strategies aimed at young people and high-risk demographics. The letter was signed by Representatives Karen Bass, Jim Costa, Jason Crow, Madeleine Dean, Ted Deutch, Dwight Evans, Steven Horsford, Lucy McBath, Grace Meng, Joseph Morelle, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Jan Schakowsky, Eric Swalwell, and Nikema Williams.
“The communities we represent have all been dramatically impacted by gun violence. The pain and suffering caused by such violence is simply unimaginable. Yet, gun violence continues unabated and CVI programs remain badly underfunded,” wrote Congressman Neguse and his colleagues. “When properly implemented and consistently funded, coordinated, community-based strategies can produce life-saving and cost-saving results in a short period of time… In total, gun violence costs the United States $229 billion every year. Congress must use every legislative tool available to fund a comprehensive agenda to protect Americans from the pain, agony, and financial toll of gun violence.”
Congressman Neguse has consistently called for common-sense gun reform, limits on military-style weapon purchases, stricter background checks, and violence preventionprograms. In August, Neguse introduced the Secure Background Checks Act to address the loophole that was exploited during a 2019 incident in Colorado in which a background check failed to confirm Sol Pai’s eligibility to purchase a gun in her home state. The bill would secure federal background checks and help keep communities safe.
Read the full letter HERE and below:
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Speaker of the House of Representatives Senate Majority Leader
United States House of Representatives United States Senate
H-232, The Capitol S-221, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Schumer:
We write today to urge that you include substantial funding for community violence intervention (CVI) programs in the final Build Back Better reconciliation bill, as proposed in the Break the Cycle of Violence Act (H.R. 4118). Gun violence is a significant public health and public safety concern that continues to stymie social and economic development in our communities. The House Budget Committee included $5 billion to fund CVI programs in the Build Back Better Act. We ask that you preserve this strong funding in the final budget reconciliation bill.
The communities we represent have all been dramatically impacted by gun violence. The pain and suffering caused by such violence is simply unimaginable. Yet, gun violence continues unabated and CVI programs remain badly underfunded. From high profile mass shootings like those in Boulder, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada, to smaller interpersonal conflicts, 75 percent of all homicides in the United States are committed with a gun. The impact does not end there. In studies of some urban hospitals, researchers have found that up to 45 percent of patients treated for injuries, like gun shots, were violently reinjured within five years.
When properly implemented and consistently funded, coordinated, community-based strategies can produce lifesaving and cost-saving results in a short period of time. The federal Break the Cycle of Violence Act proposes $5 billion over eight years for a competitive grant program to community-based organizations and local units of government that develop effective, prevention-oriented violence reduction initiatives focused on young people at highest risk for violence. These programs would identify those at highest risk, coordinate individualized wraparound resources, provide pathways to healing and stability and monitor and support long-term success. Strategies which will allow our communities to build back better.
The toll that gun violence has taken on our communities is not only emotional and physical, but also economic. On average, a single gun homicide generates approximately $448,000 in medical care and criminal justice expenses. In total, gun violence costs the United States $280 billion every year. Congress must use every legislative tool available fund a comprehensive agenda to protect Americans from the pain, agony, and financial toll of gun violence.
The titles included in the Build Back Better Act passed out of the House Budget Committee make historic investments to combat gun violence, including $5 billion to fund CVI programs. We need these programs to protect Americans from the onslaught of gun violence. Just this week there was a school shooting in Arlington, Texas. Thank you so much for your consideration.
 The Economic Cost of Gun Violence: How to Save $280 Billion During a COVID Recession, everytown for gun safety (February 17, 2021)https://everytownresearch.org/report/the-economic-cost-of-gun-violence/.
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