Republicans Introduce Bill to Block Federal Funding to Cities, States Allowing Autonomous Zones

House Republicans introduced a bill Monday which seeks to cut federal funding to any city or state which allows so-called "autonomous zones," with the co-sponsors ridiculing Seattle's "lawless" no-police area.

The CHOPing Cash for CHAZ Act of 2020 was introduced by North Carolina GOP congressman Dan Bishop, who issued a statement Tuesday saying federal taxes should not be used to facilitate "bubbles of anarchy." H.R. 7285 takes its name from The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) and Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) occupation of several Seattle city blocks, where protesters have forbidden police to enter in the wake of George Floyd's May 25 death while in the custody of Minneapolis police. The bill aims to punish Washington State or any other local government body which allows such autonomous zones within their boundaries.

"I support federalism, but when liberal-run states and localities relinquish homes and businesses of taxpaying citizens to lawless mobs without objection, Congress must step in," Bishop wrote in his statement.

"Elected officials have prioritized liberal agendas over order—putting dedicated law enforcement most at risk. We are a nation of laws, and if a state or city chooses to promote anarchy, Congress should no longer fund them for they are not doing the basic job taxpayers pay us for—protection and order," the North Carolina Republican added.

Bishop is joined by three other co-sponsors of the bill: Ted Budd of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Andy Biggs of Arizona. The House Republicans introduced the bill Monday as Black Lives Matter protesters and other criminal justice reform demonstrators tried to cordon off a section of streets near the White House. Their attempt to form the "Black House Autonomous Zone," or BHAZ, in Washington D.C. prompted President Donald Trump to threaten such efforts on Twitter Tuesday.

"There will never be an 'Autonomous Zone' in Washington, D.C., as long as I'm your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!," the president wrote, in a tweet which the social media platform later flagged for "violating our policy against abusive behavior."

Congressman Budd of Arizona, one of the co-sponsors of H.R. 7285, issued a statement explaining his support for the legislation Tuesday: "Lawless ANTIFA thugs should not be allowed to take over American cities," Budd said via statement Tuesday. "Any city that tolerates this flaunting of the rule of law shouldn't receive funding from the federal government."

The Seattle CHOP communal zone has been widely criticized, particularly in the wake of shootings that occurred inside the "no cop" zones over the weekend. Trump mocked Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan as "radical left" in a now-deleted tweet demanding they oust the "ugly anarchists" near Seattle's Capitol Hill. Durkan told the Seattle Times Monday police are set to return to the area "peacefully in the near future," after officers abandoned the East Precinct on June 8 amid violent protests.

"Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker," the Seattle mayor responded to Trump.

Newsweek reached out to Congressman Bishop's office Tuesday afternoon for additional comments and whether any Democrats may support the bill.

chop autonomous zone seattle legislation
House Republicans introduced a bill Monday which seeks to cut federal funding to any city or state which allows so-called "autonomous zones," with the co-sponsors ridiculing Seattle's "lawless" no-police area. DAVID RYDER / Stringer/Getty Images
Republicans Introduce Bill to Block Federal Funding to Cities, States Allowing Autonomous Zones | Politics