Senate Democrats see right through GOP Sen. Tim Scott's "police reform" bill and will block it, giving Mitch McConnell exactly what he wants, a roll call vote against the lone black Republican senator's legislation being used as a cudgel to discredit Black Lives Matter.
The Senate's police reform debate is on a trajectory to crash and burn this week.
Top Democratic senators told Mitch McConnell on Tuesday that the Republicans’ policing overhaul is “not salvageable” — the latest sign that Democrats will filibuster the GOP bill on Wednesday and that the Senate is headed for deadlock on the issue.
In a letter to the majority leader, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) demanded that McConnell bring “meaningful legislation” to the floor and argued the GOP plan is not enough as even a starting point for negotiations. Republicans were immediately incredulous that after demanding a debate for days, Democrats were now ready to shut it down before it truly started.
McConnell says if Democrats want to amend his proposal, they need to cough up the seven votes needed to get to 60 and break a filibuster. Yet Harris, Booker and Schumer said they need a bipartisan negotiation at the outset rather than simply taking up a partisan police bill — and that even amendments can’t save the legislation written by GOP Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). Schumer said there is "overwhelming opposition" to the legislation among Democrats.
“We will not meet this moment by holding a floor vote on the JUSTICE Act, nor can we simply amend this bill, which is so threadbare and lacking in substance that it does not even provide a proper baseline for negotiations,” the three senators wrote to McConnell.
The debate comes amid a national reckoning on race and police violence after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and nationwide protests.
Republicans’ proposal creates incentives for local police departments to reform their policies to stop misconduct; Democrats want to establish stiffer federal standards against the use of force and ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants.
Scott's bill currently has no Democratic supporters in the Senate and was brought directly to the floor rather than through the Judiciary Committee, where it could have been amended and negotiated by committee leaders. Republicans had not planned to hold a vote in June, but scrambled to restructure their agenda after the wave of protests as well as statements by Scott that the party needed to seize the moment now.
The note from the Democratic leader as well as its two Black members demonstrates that most other Senate Democrats are ready to block the GOP proposal absent new negotiations. Schumer said that "Leader McConnell is leading the Senate into a cul-de-sac: A process designed to fail."
It's designed to fail and always was, but a lot of voters aren't going to see it that way.
They're going to see the two Black senators, especially Kamala Harris, in the running for Biden's VP slot, voting against "police reform" and it's going to hurt, if not wreck, Harris's chances.
Which is precisely what Mitch McConnell wants and will get. I'm upset that Senate Democrats fell for the trap again, but it's Kamala Harris who will pay dearly for this. The other half of the trap is already in play.
BET founder Robert Johnson is calling on the Black Lives Matter movement to form an independent political party. “I think it’s time that African Americans form an independent party, not be an appendage of one party or ignored by the other party.” pic.twitter.com/WBIyfbxAVx— CNBC (@CNBC) June 23, 2020
This was always how Black Lives Matter was going to be destroyed, by using it as an excuse to convince Black voters to leave the Democratic party.
I'm angry as hell that the Dems are walking right into this "Blexit" bullcrap.
Meanwhile in Alabama, the FBI is saying that the noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage stall had been there since October of last year and there was no hate crime involved against NASCAR's only black driver.
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime, the FBI has concluded after completing its investigation at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, NASCAR announced in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall,” NASCAR’s statement read. “This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment.”
NASCAR President Steve Phelps is expected to address the development Tuesday evening in a conference call with reporters.
Wallace, 26, who is NASCAR’s only African American driver on its elite Cup series, had called for the sport to ban the displays of the Confederate flag at its tracks earlier this month, and the sport did so June 10, triggering outrage among a subset of fans.
In other words the FBI's story is that it wasn't a noose, and it was pure coincidence that Wallace had been assigned the stall with the rope pull in the garage that happened to look kind of like a noose.
Sure. I guess.
Good job, NASCAR and the FBI.