Tim Scott: I Offered the Dems JUSTICE Act Amendments. They 'Walked Out.'

Posted: Jun 24, 2020 1:25 PM
Tim Scott: I Offered the Dems JUSTICE Act Amendments. They 'Walked Out.'

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Senate Democrats are convinced that their police reform bill is miles ahead of Sen. Tim Scott's (R-SC) JUSTICE Act. Particularly, they argue, when it comes to banning police chokeholds. The Democrats have tried to argue that their measure, the Justice and Policing Act, bans the controversial use of force.

"That's false," he says. "With strict penalties facing local police departments they go after chokeholds by holding off on grant dollars for local agencies and state agencies. Our legislation does the exact same thing." 

"What theirs says about the ban on chokeholds only applies to federal agents," he adds.

That's important, Sen. Scott explains, because incidents such as the police killing of Eric Garner in New York did not involve a federal agent. So that means that 700,000 out of the country's 800,000 officers would not be under the ban. Also at issue, as he explained, the Constitution prevents them from dictating how local agencies operate.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tried to spin the same story about chokeholds. And again Sen. Scott corrected the record.

Scott noted that he "offered to include an amendment for every concern that was presented" to the Democrats. They offered zero and walked out on him.

"Don’t let anyone convince you this was about debates or amendments. It’s about politics, and a refusal to find a solution," Scott said.

"We are all closing in on the same outcome," Scott told his stubborn Democratic colleagues. Nevertheless, the JUSTICE Act is not expected to go anywhere on Wednesday, as it doesn't have the 60 votes it needs.

Republican lawmakers say the Democrats' move proves they're not sincerely interested in finding solutions.

Editor's Note: This post has been updated with reactions from Republican lawmakers.