Democrats demonstrated this week that they don’t want law enforcement reform, they just want to address the issue this fall. That’s the clear conclusion of the Senate minority’s refusal to allow a vote, or even debate, on the Republican bill, led by Senator Tim Scott.
“Our invoice does something. Yours does nothing, ”snorted the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. False: In fact, many provisions of Scott’s bill are the same as those of the House of Democrats bill.
No, the Republican bill would not end “qualified immunity,” which can protect police officers from being personally liable for damages for violating someone’s rights.
Scott said the issue is not a “start” for his party, but that the Republican Party could have reached negotiations with the House if the Democrats had not stopped the Senate bill.
The Republican bill instructed the attorney general to ban federal officials from using choke straps and encouraged states to ban them (and control do-not-touch orders) by putting federal funds on the line. It required departments to report all agent-related deaths to the FBI and, like Democrats law, would have made lynching a federal crime.
The House bill goes further, but not much. And Scott, a black man with experience of police misconduct, was so passionate about passing the reform that he told Democrats that it would allow them to offer broad amendments during the debate. “They said no. They had no desire to solve this problem before the election,” the senator told Fox News. (House Democrats, meanwhile, passed his bill without allowing a single Republican amendment.)
Pelosi is being completely shameless, claiming that the Republicans are “trying to escape the murder, actually, the murder of George Floyd.” When asked if he wanted to soften that statement, he instead doubled.
In reality, it is the Democratic refusal to allow debate in the Senate that has put an end to any possibility that police reform will pass to Congress this year.
By Pelosi’s logic, that means his group is the one trying to escape with the murder.