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Questionable new legislation reminds us why we must read the fine print

May 30, 2024
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Regardless of your political party allegiance, no one likes being mislead for an agenda.

Earlier this month, Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Katie Britt (R-AL) introduced bi-partisan legislation to provide female Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers with updated body armor tailored to female body types. Though aimed at female Border Patrol Officers, under the DHS Better Ballistic Body Armor Act, DHS would be required to provide all law enforcement officers regardless of gender or DHS agency with next generation ballistic body armor. On paper, this seems like an excellent step forward in protecting those who protect our country. However, a second glance indicates a rushed piece of legislation put together without considering more than a singular source. Voting records and public perception of both senators call into question whether this is a PR attempt to gain favor on both political sides of the spectrum.

This bill was allegedly scrambled together after female CBP officers raised concerns about traditional body armor’s ability to protect them, as it is generally designed for the male form. The bill rests upon solely one leaked study conducted by the FBI. This study indicated that when worn by women and some men, traditional body armor can deflect bullets, having them bounce towards the throat area. However, in 2020, DHS focused on developing body armor geared towards women that female CBP agents have full access to. It is worth noting that S and T Lab is behind this study, while in 2021, TYR Tactical signed a multi-million dollar contract with the FBI. It is curious that the DHS study was not cited in this bill, and is worth questioning whether this is a push for one brand over the other. If passed, this bill could divert the DHS budget away from more urgent areas, and hamper the public perception of the organization. It would be worthwhile for these elected officials to take a step back and reassess this piece of legislature. 

A history of misleading the public

Both politicians have a history of lacking oversight with their voting and rhetoric, and spots on their record that are grounds for loss of voters. Peters voted yes in support of the “Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act” that though intended to limit the reach of 3-letter agencies only codified 13 regular practices that many consider overreach. Katie Britt became a household name after SNL mocked her rebuttal to the State of the Union. However, her blatant misinformation peddling is no laughing matter. During her rebuttal, she shared a heart wrenching story of a rape and sex trafficking victim, attributing this travesty to Biden’s border policies. She neglected to add that this occurred during the Bush administration. 

In a PR blunder, Britt filmed her rebuttal from her kitchen. Later, the trafficking survivor whose story she shared publicly came out and called this move “not fair”.

Gary Peters has been criticized by his own party numerous times. Chris Hartline a Spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee stated, “Gary Peters is either a liar or he’s too dumb to know what’s going on at the committee he runs."

Peters, a hardline pro-choicer, Peters shared in an interview with Elle magazine that his wife underwent a second trimester abortion in order to avoid a medical crisis that would require her uterus to be removed. Abortion is possibly one of the most contentious political issues. Being vocally pro-choice while sharing his experience with a later in pregnancy abortion is sure to turn away some voters, and not just the single issue ones.

This new legislation could be a strategic move to reach voters on both sides of the spectrum. On the left, it addresses gender equality. On the right, it shows support for law enforcement. Is this an ill thought out piece of legislature, or a career move for both politicians involved? 

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