McConnell Threatens Democrats
With minimal discussion in the public sphere the movement to defund the police has already garnered the support of one-third of Americans, including the majority of Black Americans, but Republicans are working against legitimate or substantive police reform.
After three weeks of protests, Tuesday morning GOP Senators led by Tim Scott of South Carolina unveiled the core portions of what they are calling the “Justice Act,” a police reform bill,.
The legislation would actually increase funding to local police departments. It also does not ban chokeholds, which have led to countless killings, often of Black men at the hands of police officers.
The funding would go to more training, on tactics such as deescalation, which some say will be ignored.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 17, 2020
The GOP legislation incentivizes police departments to choose to ban chokeholds by threatening to withhold federal funding from agencies that do not ban the often deadly act.
Meanwhile, Democrats have already unveiled their police reform legislation, which goes much further. It bans chokeholds, does not give law enforcement any additional funding, bans “no-knock” warrants, and ends absolute qualified immunity.
This pretty much sums it up. pic.twitter.com/JgnC9QnlhD
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 17, 2020
Pressure on Republicans is intense. Senate Majority Leader McConnell had indicated he would have lawmakers take up the legislation after the July 4 recess. Now he has scheduled a vote for next week, despite not yet having President Donald Trump’s approval on the bill.
Senator Scott, introducing the police reform bill, said most officers are good people, and America is not a racist nation. He added that this is a real opportunity to have a conversation with America.
Republican Majority Leader McConnell has different intentions.
On Tuesday McConnell threatened Democrats, announcing they would not have any hand in crafting the bill before he brings it to the Senate floor.
“Democrats, I think, have to make a decision, do they want to prevent this bill from going to the floor or do they want to get on it and try to change it?” McConnell said, strong-arming Democrats. “I’m fully aware that it takes 60 votes to get something out of the Senate, so it will really be up to them to decide how they want to handle this.”
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