Despite the proximity of Baltimore’s riots to Capitol Hill and the “usual outpouring of ‘it's time to do something’ rhetoric,” congressional action seems unlikely on proposals aimed at addressing growing nationwide concerns about aggressive police tactics, reports CQ Roll Call. Some House Democrats, particularly those who have sponsored stalled bills to strengthen police oversight and curb racial profiling, were quick to blame Republicans for inaction.
“The lack of access to quality education, the lack of access to opportunity and the lack of hope all mix together in a powder keg set to explode — as it has in Baltimore,” said Ben Garmisa, a spokesman for Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), who has introduced legislation that would require public reporting of deadly interactions between law enforcers and civilians. “So far the Republican Congress has not done enough to address these challenges, but it's clear they must do more, and do it immediately.” House GOP leaders were reluctant to wade into the thorny debate over reining in law enforcement. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) declined to comment on pending bills that would provide body cameras to police officers or improve data collection on violent arrests.