Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerGOP lawmakers express their support for the Israeli plan to annex areas in the West Bank. The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Rep. Mark Takano says Congress should extend worker benefits due July; WHO reports record increase in global cases UPDATE: Trump denies slowing tests for coronavirus MORE (DN.Y.) said Tuesday that Democrats are prepared to block a Republican police reform bill.
Schumer, speaking from the Senate, sent his strongest warning so far that the Republican bill, headed by the senator. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene Scott The NAACP Legal Defense Fund urges the Senate to reject the Republican police reform bill McConnell sets the initial police reform vote for Wednesday this week: Congress will face legislation police reform MORE (SC), the only black senator in the Republican Party – will not advance and urged the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump says he supports another round of stimulus checks The NAACP Legal Defense Fund urges the Senate to reject the Republican Party’s police reform bill. Democrats detail their green .5T infrastructure plan | Environmental groups challenge Trump’s water rules to undo MORE (R-Ky.) To back off.
“Democrats are confident that the McConnell plan will not lead to passage of the legislation. It is clear that the Republican bill, as it is, will not get 60 votes. There is overwhelming opposition to the bill on our committee,” Schumer said. .
“Because the bill needs such a big and fundamental change, there is no conceivable way that a series of amendments strong enough to cure the flaws in the bill will also not accrue 60 votes. Therefore, no Bill will be passed as a result of this Sen McConnell ploy, “he added.
The Republican bill will have a key test vote on Wednesday, when it will need 60 votes, including at least seven Democrats, to overcome an initial procedural hurdle. Senator Doug Jones (Alabama) is the only Democrat who has indicated he could vote to proceed with the Republican bill, leaving Republicans without the necessary support.
A growing number of Democrats, including the Democratic Senate Whip Dick durbinRichard (Dick) Joseph Durbin This week: Congress will face police reform legislation Harris’ road to police reform is littered with landmines How June 15 celebrations and marches in the US looked like. USA PLUS (Ill.) And Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi Harris The Hill Report at 12:30 PM: Aftermath of Trump’s Weekend Rally The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – After a difficult week, can Trump bounce back? Harris’s path to landmine-ridden police reform MORE (California) and Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker: Romanoff touts endorsements before the primaries against Hickenlooper Harris’s path over landmine-ridden police reform. (NJ), the only two black Democratic senators, will vote against proceeding with the bill on Wednesday. Durbin, however, said the committee as a whole had not taken a position to block the Republican bill if it is put to a vote now.
“The problem with the bill that leader McConnell wants to put on the ground is not bold. It is not brave. There is not a great imagination about what we can be. It does not challenge us to join. What it does is guarantees that the cycle of violence in our country, the cycle of abuse of civil rights, the cycle of death that touched so many Americans so much will continue, “Booker said from the Senate.
Harris added that while she would vote against proceeding with the Republican bill, she would be willing to vote to undertake “real reform.”
“Let’s proceed with the action, not with the gestures, with the action,” he added.
But McConnell showed no signs of backing down on Tuesday, accusing Democrats of potentially blocking the bill to make a political point.
“The American people expect us to do our job, debate the debate and legislate on this issue that has captured the nation’s attention. Discussion, debate, votes on the amendments. Tomorrow we will discover whether even these modest steps are a bridge too far for our colleagues on the Democratic side, “McConnell said.
Senator John CornynJohn CornynGOP gathers around Trump after firing Manhattan prosecutor, The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – After a difficult week, can Trump bounce back? Trump and GOP make a big bet on the economy by 2020 MORE (R-Texas), a McConnell adviser, also seemed disinterested in trying to negotiate a deal before Wednesday’s vote, comparing Democrats to “kidnappers.”
“Don’t you understand how the Senate works?” I ask. “I’m not really that interested in negotiating with the kidnappers. That’s what it is.”
Democrats say the bill fails to meet calls for police reform in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd. And after weeks of protests calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism, they believe they have public support on their side.
Schumer, Booker and Harris sent a letter to McConnell on Tuesday urging him to cancel Wednesday’s vote on the bill and start negotiating with Democrats, something he previously said would not happen until the Senate has agreed to start the debate on the republican bill.
“We will not meet at this time holding a floor vote on the JUSTICE Law, nor can we simply amend this bill, which is so fragile and lacking in substance that it does not even provide an adequate basis for negotiations. This bill is not salvageable and we need bipartisan talks to reach a constructive starting point, “they wrote.
“Bringing the JUSTICE Act to the Senate floor is a woefully inadequate response, and we urge you to bring meaningful legislation to the floor for a vote,” they added.
The Republican bill would use federal grants to try to incentivize state and local law enforcement to ban bottlenecks. It also includes new reports on the use of force by the police and the use of arrest warrants, has new penalties for not using body cameras, new requirements on the retention of police records, and would include a separate bill that makes lynching is a federal hate crime.
But Democrats say it falls woefully short, particularly by failing to curb the use of arrest warrants and failing to address qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil lawsuits.
The House is expected to vote on the Democratic plan on Thursday, where it is expected to pass along the party lines.
—Updated at 12:05 pm