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.
Total misinformation right here. The House bill does the same thing on chokeholds for state and local police as the #JUSTICEAct. The House bill doesn’t ban state/local no knocks. Federal bans wouldn’t have saved Mr. Garner or Ms. Taylor.— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) June 24, 2020
Now - lets vote to debate the #JUSTICEAct https://t.co/COZLtaI26u
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.
I offered Democrats the chance to offer AT LEAST 20 amendments. They walked out. #JUSTICEAct— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) June 24, 2020
"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.
The same Democrats demanding swift action to address police brutality are the same Democrats now blocking the only real chance we have to address this issue this year.— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) June 24, 2020
Democrats won’t even allow a DEBATE on Tim Scott’s commonsense bill. They don’t care about finding solutions. https://t.co/Y0W5Bli3Xr
I believe that reforms to policing are necessary.— French Hill (@RepFrenchHill) June 24, 2020
.@SenatorTimScott's JUSTICE Act that would promote better police training, accountability and transparency in our communities.
Unfortunately, @SenateDems and @SenSchumer are prioritizing partisanship over progress. https://t.co/NnfL6vQZPf
Democrats would rather score political points than work together to make a law. We invited them to debate where our ideas differ, and they just walked away. Pathetic and sad. https://t.co/B4rFaBz34a— Shelley Moore Capito (@SenCapito) June 24, 2020
Editor's Note: This post has been updated with reactions from Republican lawmakers.