Police reform bills at impasse in Congress

Washington D.C. Bureau

Dems, GOP both offered different police reform bills

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — After the death of George Floyd, both Democrats and Republican in Congress said they were listening, both quickly crafted their own versions of police reform and both are apparently at an impasse.

On Thursday, House Democrats took up the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

“Across all specturms of life people want to see us take a dramatic step toward systemic racism change,” Nevada Democrat Dina Titus said.

Oregon’s Suzanne Bonamici said, “We need the increased transparency and accountability for our law enforcement. We need to ban choke holds and no knock warrants.”

The action in the US House came hours after Democrats blocked the Republican version of the police reform bill in the Senate.

The Senate bill’s author, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and other GOP members were seething after the Democrats refused to even debate their bill.

“I lost a vote on a piece of legislation that would have led to systemic change,” Scott said.

“This would have made lynching a federal crime,” South Dakota’s Mike Rounds said. “It would have eliminated choke holds.”

Republicans were offering federal grants to incentivize the elimination of choke holds. Democrats want an outright ban — which is why Rounds said the Democrats should have allowed debate on the bill.

“Between 70 and 80% of what’s in this bill is also found in the House bill,” Rounds said, but added, “Unfortunately there were several things in the Democrats bill that are not acceptable.”

Democrats want to give people the right to file civil lawsuits against law enforcement — and that’s a non-starter for Republicans.

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