Tim Scott Reveals the Real Reason Dems Shot Down the JUSTICE Act

Posted: Jun 28, 2020 3:45 PM
Tim Scott Reveals the Real Reason Dems Shot Down the JUSTICE Act

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Democrats and Republicans have been divided on how to address police reform, something the country is longing for. Sen. Tim Scott, the Republican lead on police reform, told John Dickerson on "Face the Nation" that Senate Democrats are likely stalling because of the 2020 election. Some in the Senate are being considered as former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate. 

"I can't say exactly why but my suspicion is the presidential politics and choosing a vice president was a part of the conversation," Scott said. "What I offered my friends on the other side was not five amendments based on Sen. Schumer's letter to us saying there were five major issues. I said, 'Let's fix those five.' They came into the room and we were going to chat about it. They said, 'There was 20 things we'd like to change.' I said, 'I'll give you 20 amendments and I'll start by offering the first amendment myself on chokeholds.'"

According to the South Carolina Senator, there was a discrepancy between the House and Senate bills on the definition of a chokehold. In the House bill, chokeholds included a lack of "airflow and blood flow." The Senate version only included airflow, but Scott was willing to add in the "blood flow" term to come to an agreement with Democrats. 

"We could do so much together for those folks in the streets today. We missed a golden opportunity, not because the bills weren't similar enough but because what the House wanted was not what the Senate Democrats wanted to have a conversation about," Scott explained. 

The Senator plans to talk with House Democrats that drafted their police reform bill to see if an agreement can be reached. There are policy aspects of the House bill that Scott said he liked, but there are also somethings he did not approve of.

"There are things in the House bill that I do think are not in the best interest of the country. Let me just be clear on that fact. While I do talk about a lot of things in common, there are a few things that I believe makes it worse on cities, makes it worse on the most vulnerable populations within those cities," he said. 

Scott used the example of crime in New York City skyrocketing compared to the same time last year. In his eyes, that's taking place because police officers are being targeted and are afraid to do their job.

"When you start demonizing and stereotyping all law enforcement as evil and bad, start putting targets on their back, you start seeing them withdrawal from areas and that creates a powderkeg that's not good for the nation," Scott said. "Demonizing law enforcement is not apart of my bill because I don't want law enforcement to demonize African Americans. We have to be on the same page."