Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) trashed Senator Tim Scott’s (R-SC) policing bill as “deeply flawed and not salvageable” in a tweet in which he also posted a joint letter with Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), blasting the legislation.
The trio’s letter, addressed to Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), suggested the reform bill was a non-starter that was “so threadbare and lacking in substance that it does not even provide a proper baseline for negotiations.”
Scott announced the legislation last week along with six other GOP Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In a press release, Scott, who is black, argued that “action must be taken to rebuild lost trust between communities of color and law enforcement.”
According to the senator’s office, the legislation is designed to promote policies that enable “significant change” while maintaining the Constitutional role of the federal government when it comes to local policing decisions.
As The Los Angeles Times notes, the legislation provides a heavy emphasis on collecting data about use-of-force, increases de-escalation training and the use of body cameras, and creates a commission to study conditions affecting black boys and men.
But Schumer, Booker and Harris, have pushed back against bringing the legislation to the senate floor: “This bill is not salvageable and we need bipartisan talks to get to a constructive starting point.”
The Senate GOP bill fails to establish meaningful accountability for police.
It is deeply flawed and not salvageable.
We need REAL reform.
From Senator Booker, Senator Harris, and me: pic.twitter.com/2pxT3mETjz
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 23, 2020
“We cannot proceed with what they’re offering. It’s empty. It’s empty,” Harris said on Tuesday, reports Politico. “There’s no question that if we are in the majority in the Senate and that if Joe Biden were president there would be a lot more movement.”
“Republican introduced a watered-down policing bill, intent on obstructing meaningful change,” tweeted Harris. “It doesn’t even begin to address the longstanding discrimination and abuses that have existed in the system.”
Republicans introduced a watered-down policing bill, intent on obstructing meaningful change. It doesn't even begin to address the longstanding discrimination and abuses that have existed in the system.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 23, 2020
Scott, who rejects the idea of systemic racism, has been open about the number of times he’s been stopped by law enforcement, and still believes Democrats can and should work with his bill.
“Why am I so passionate about this issue beyond my 18 stops as a person of color?” remarked Scott, reports Politico. “In my legislation and the Republican Senate legislation and the House legislation there is so much common ground and to … lose this moment for the kids and the young adults watching this process would be terrible.”
Scott also believes “some people would rather run on police reform than accomplish it.”
Part two of today’s floor speech on the #JUSTICEAct:
Part two of today's floor speech on the #JUSTICEAct:
Some would rather run on police reform than accomplishing it. I believe both sides have people to come to the table and solve the issues. Let’s do it. pic.twitter.com/vWF3W7AcQ4
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) June 23, 2020
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