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House Democrats aim to hold a floor vote Friday on a bill that would provide states with funding to replace law enforcement with mental health professionals.

The Mental Health Justice Act bill text provides grants to states to hire, hire, train and dispatch mental health professionals “in lieu of law enforcement officers” during emergency calls involving at least one person with a mental illness. Rep. D-Calif. Katie Porter reintroduced the law last year, saying it would reduce violence against people with mental illness.

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“We should be connecting people in crisis to care, not throwing them in jail,” Porter said in a statement at the time. “Mental illness is not a crime, and we need to stop treating it like one. Too many police officers are not trained to care for people experiencing mental health crises, which too often tragically leads to unnecessary violence.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a press conference.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a press conference.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Porter’s legislation is part of a package of bills that Democratic lawmakers aim to vote on Friday before the month-long August recess, according to a Republican aide. House members were advised Friday morning that “consideration of the Public Safety Act is possible,” and additional votes are expected.

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“Rep. Porter’s defund police bill would replace law enforcement with mental health workers who are ill-equipped to keep communities or themselves safe in dangerous, life-threatening situations,” the aide told Fox News Digital.

“Before leaving town for the August recess, Democrats are doubling down on failed policies that have led to rising crime and lawlessness in American cities,” they added.

"Mental illness is not a crime, and we need to stop treating it like one," said Rep.  Katie Porter says.

“Mental illness is not a crime, and we need to stop treating it like one,” said Rep. Katie Porter says.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The push to pass the bill, along with several other measures, comes as many Democrats are trying to disassociate the police from the “defund the fund” movement. The movement erupted in 2020 following the death of George Floyd in police custody and led many cities to strip some funding from police departments.

In January, the White House blamed continued crime increases nationwide on “underfunding of some police departments,” and in May President Biden signed an executive order advancing effective, accountable policing to “build public confidence and strengthen public safety.” The president also unveiled a $37 billion effort to invest in US law enforcement.

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“We all have to agree: The answer is not to defend the police,” Biden said in his State of the Union address. “The answer is to fund police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

The White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not respond to requests for comment.