No guarantee of bipartisan deal in Congress on police reform

No guarantee of bipartisan deal in Congress on police reform
No guarantee of bipartisan deal in Congress on police reform

With fresh outrage from over the weekend after the killing of a black man by police in Atlanta, Democrats this week will press ahead with legislative plans for police reform and accountability, as Republicans continue to cobble together their own ideas as well.

"If we don't do it right, then we'll have the same situation," said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), on CBS's 'Face the Nation.'

Scott, who is in charge of police reform plans in the Senate, said Republicans would not accept an effort by Democrats to peel away legal immunity for law enforcement officers.

Content Continues Below

"Qualified immunity is off the table," Scott said, indicating the President and his advisers regard efforts by Democrats to allow lawsuits against police officers as 'a poison pill' in any reform measure.

Democrats in the House have scheduled a session on Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee to vote on legislation dealing with police reform.

While Republicans have so far issued only bullet points and goals, Democrats last week rolled out the details of a 134 page bill, chock full of a variety of plans, including change to qualified immunity, and a national registry to list officers who have been tied to misconduct on the job.

"Our Justice in Policing Act gives the DOJ and state attorneys general more power to investigate entire police departments for patterns and practices of discrimination," said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). "No longer should police departments be able to evade accountability and consequence."

"Not only do we need police accountability, but we must bring an end to the pandemic of racism," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

Meanwhile, some Democrats expressed concern this weekend that Republicans were talking about cutting a deal on police reform legislation - but would back off in the end.

"I hope I’m wrong, but we cannot allow Republicans to get the benefit of feinting towards real action and then doing nothing," said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI).