Senate Democrats are on verge of blocking Republicans’ police reform bill over lack of chokehold ban and claims Mitch McConnell is not prepared to negotiate on measures
- Democrats are close to blocking Senate Republicans police reform bill
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing bring the bill to the Senate floor on Wednesday for a vote on moving forward on debating the legislation
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer initially said he is prepared to move forward on negotiations
- Other Democrats insist the bill does not go far enough and claim McConnell is not giving a big enough commitment that Republicans will budge
- House Democrats have also proposed their own version of a police reform bill
- Effort to get legislation passed comes after a full month of nationwide protests
Democrats are positioning themselves to block the Senate Republicans’ police reform bill before it even hits the floor for debate as they claim the legislation does not go far enough, especially in banning cops’ use of chokeholds.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs 60 votes for the Senate to begin negotiations on the bill, which was authored by the sole Black GOP Senator Tim Scott – but Democrats are signaling they will not let the debate commence.
There was no Democratic input in the bill, and many claim that McConnell is not prepared to negotiate on additional measures or those already included.
Notably, the Republican version of the legislation includes a stipulation where police officers can only use a chokehold when their life is threatened, while Democrats want a more sweeping ban on the move.
Democrats claim they want more assurances from McConnell that there will be concessions made on the side of Republicans before they vote to bring the bill up for debate.
Senate Democrats are strongly signaling they will filibuster Republicans’ police reform bill later this week absent more concessions from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Democrats are poising themselves to block Senate Republicans police reform bill as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prepares to bring the bill to the floor for a vote on debating the legislation Wednesday
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer initially said he is prepared to move forward on negotiations, but other Democrats insists the bill does not go far enough and McConnell is not giving a big enough commitment that Republicans will budge on the bill
The effort from both Republicans and Democrats to get legislation passed comes as protests have rocked the nation for a month following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer
The Kentucky Republican set the Senate on a path to consider the legislation on Wednesday and must lure at least seven Democrats to support even opening debate on a GOP bill written without any Democratic input. So far, few Democrats have expressed any interest.
‘If nothing changes, I’m voting,’ Senator Jon Tester said, according Politico. ‘I need some assurances that we’re going to vote on amendments that will fix this bill. And it needs a lot of fixing.’
Republicans would need Tester, the centrist Democratic senator from Montana, and six other aisle crossers to assemble the 60 votes needed to move forward.
‘I’m not going to vote on a half-a** bill,’ Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono said.
Minority Whip Dick Durbin insisted the effort needed to be bipartisan, telling reporters at the Capitol Monday there isn’t any ‘clarity’ on what McConnell is offering to appease Democrats.
‘There’s no clarity in what we’re being offered by Sen. McConnell,’ Senator Durbin said. ‘I’ve faced similar Sen. McConnell offers in the past, on [coronavirus legislation], and the best thing that happened is we didn’t accept his offer. We demanded a bipartisan approach.’
Democrats want McConnell to commit to a set number of amendments the party would get to propose if they agreed to take the bill to the floor for debate – but Republicans are making no such commitment.
McConnell is preparing to bring the bill to the Senate floor on Wednesday as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer previously claimed he would allow for the debate. It now appears, however, that Republicans will not be able to get the seven Democrats votes they need.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled the Democrats’ version of a police reform bill earlier this month and riots and protests following the death of George Floyd continued to sweep the nation.
The California Democrat has indicated that she wants the Senate to take up the bill so both chambers can begin formal negotiations.
Many Senate Democrats also said Monday night that they are being urged by several progressive organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, to oppose the bill.
Republican lawmakers and the White House are ready to pass a bill, as Donald Trump urged earlier this month that he would work with Congress to get police reform legislation passed and signed.
The president claimed, while signing a policing executive order, that Congress would need to pass a bill to expand on the programs he established.
Democrats presented their police reform bill before Trump signed his executive order – but Republicans are preparing to blame the opposing party for blocking police reform legislation.
The House will vote Thursday on its sweeping police bill, of which a dozen or so Republicans could vote in favor.
Donald Trump and Senate Republicans want nothing to do with the House policing overhaul.