Congress Poised To Do Nothing on Police Reform

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As the U.S. faces its biggest crisis over civil rights in decades, Congress is poised to do nothing, Politico reports. What could have been a searing, soul-searching moment where political leaders helped establish a national accord on race and the role of police has devolved into a frenzy of political posturing, campaign sloganeering and ugly partisan fights. The House on Thursday passed a sweeping police reform bill that would ban chokeholds, end the use of “no-knock” warrants, create a national registry for officers accused of misconduct, and make it easier to prosecute officers. Democrats picked up only a few GOP votes, guaranteeing the proposal has no chance of moving in the Senate. The Senate can’t even agree to debate a police reform bill, with Democrats blocking efforts to take up a proposal by Sen. Tim Scott (SC), one of two black Republicans on Capitol Hill.

“It’s really unfortunate,” Scott said. “You’d like to think that we’re all willing to get together on something as consequential as police reform in a moment like this.” Party leaders are pointing fingers at the other, suggesting Washington’s latest attempt at reform is all but finished. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and colleagues were infuriated when Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republicans are “trying to get away with murder, actually. The murder of George Floyd.” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) angered Democrats when he suggested Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had “a chokehold” on the Republicans’ police reform. Democrats said that showed GOP leaders weren’t serious about police brutality. President Donald Trump has turned to repeatedly tweeting “Law and Order!,” a sign he isn’t interested in anything Democrats propose “There’s not one single conversation between a Democratic and a Republican member in order to achieve a bipartisan bill in the House,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC).

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