Senate

Tim Scott: Could be ‘very hard’ to reach police reform deal by June deadline

Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the lead Republican negotiator on police reform, says it will be “very hard” to reach a bipartisan deal by the end-of-June deadline if senators working on the issue can’t get a proposal down on paper in the next week or two.

“For us to get where we need to go, there’s going to have to be paper. If we don’t have paper in the next week or two, I think [it] would be very hard for us to make a deadline that is June 28 … [or] whatever the last week we’re here,” Scott told reporters Tuesday.

Scott told reporters before the Memorial Day recess that “it’s June or bust” for getting a deal on police reform, which eluded negotiators last year during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests.

But with lawmakers already in the second week of June and still deadlocked over how to handle key issues such as exposing police officers to civil liability and criminal prosecution, the prospect of a deal by month’s end appears to be slipping.

“The short answer is the immunity issue is still very important,” he said.

He also said “there’s a chasm” remaining between his bill, the Justice Act, and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, which Democrats support.

“So it’s a little more complicated than just the top four or five issues that we’ve been covering,” he said. “The devil in the details of the actual body of the pieces of legislation are complicated and there are very big differences.”

Asked why it’s taking so long to iron out the differences, Scott shot back: “Have you read the two bills? They’re long.”

Much of the public attention has been on the partisan clash over some of the biggest proposed reforms.

Democrats want to make police officers individually liable for misconduct and lower the standard for criminal prosecutions from “willful” conduct to “reckless” conduct.

Republicans have so far resisted giving ground on the statute that sets the bar for criminal prosecutions of law enforcement officers.

Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), another Republican negotiator, have proposed shielding individual police officers from getting sued but opening police departments and city managers to lawsuits for incidents that result in death of serious bodily injury.

Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.), the lead House Democratic negotiator, however, has insisted on the need to hold individual officers “accountable” by making them subject to lawsuits when they use excessive force.

Senators generally view police reform as one of the most promising areas for bipartisan compromise this year.

If a deal doesn’t get done this month, it may be difficult to keep senators’ focus on the talks as President Biden’s infrastructure agenda begins to take more of the spotlight.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said the Senate will take up infrastructure legislation next month, even though bipartisan talks between Biden and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) came to an end Tuesday.

A separate group of Republican and Democratic Senate moderates are ramping up their talks to reach a deal on a scaled-down infrastructure package, even though Biden has signaled he wants a package of at least $1 trillion, paid for in part by higher corporate taxes.

Tags Chuck Schumer Joe Biden Karen Bass Lindsey Graham police reform Shelley Moore Capito Tim Scott

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Regular the hill posts

People – Image widget – Person – Main Area Top

File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

QAT WC-2613

People – Image – Person

In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

People - Video Bin - Person

The White House is pushing 'Bidenomics,' but what does it mean?

The White House is pushing 'Bidenomics,' but what ...
DC Bureau: AI Legal Immunity (raquel)
KXAN: special session
DC Bureau: Biden economic display (basil)
KTXL: ca budget folo
WHTM: good gov bills
More Videos

Main area middle

main area bottom custom html

MAIN Area bottom

People – Custom HTML – Person

MAIN AREA BOTTOM

People - Article Bin - 7 Headline List with Featured Image - Person

Main area bottom