- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2020

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday his conference will put out its own proposal to overhaul policing — and accused Democrats of shutting Republicans out of the larger House process.

Mr. McCarthy said there were a number of things Republicans agreed with “conceptually” in the Democrats‘ plan, but he was frustrated his party hadn’t been consulted before its rollout.

“Like most major national issues, there aren’t Republican or Democrat solutions, but only American solutions. Despite there being common ground, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi once again politicized what could have been a moment to lead and show the country we are capable of putting our differences aside,” the California Republican said.

“I’m hopeful when we get to a markup, we could be in a place that is not one bill or nothing that it’s the ideas of all,” he added.

Mr. McCarthy said Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, will lead talks with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the Republican who is leading the Senate’s proposal.

He said their proposal will focus on three key areas: performance, transparency and accountability. The plan will include provisions to shore up data collection, increased training, and some kind of misconduct database.

Republicans are also strongly pushing back against the growing calls to defund or abolish departments.

“While Democrats talk about defunding the police, Republicans talk about solutions that will defend Americans — who also stand by and support our police officers who put on their uniform, every day to carry out their oath to protect and serve firmly believes in America,” he said.

Democrats have countered the GOP’s focus on the far-left demands by pointing out their bill does not defund any departments. Democratic leadership has stayed away from endorsing those proposals, although progressive firebrands like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and many local Democratic officials do.

Mr. McCarthy did not want to say what parts of the Democrats‘ proposal Republicans oppose though he noted he would, personally, favor a chokehold ban.

At Wednesday’s House hearing on police brutality, some Republicans endorsed the idea of a “bad cop registry” and reforming police unions, but were skeptical of how far Democrats were willing to take their changes to qualified immunity, which protects officers from being sued when acting in their official capacity.

The Democrats‘ bill, introduced on Monday, would mandate anti-bias training, impose national use-of-force standards and make it easier to sue officers for misconduct in the line of duty.

It includes chokehold and “no-knock” warrant bans as well as an anti-lynching provision. It goes further by proposing a national use of force standard, creates a national misconduct registry, and limits qualified immunity.

Mr. Scott told reporters Tuesday that so far lawmakers are considering an anti-lynching provision, banning “no-knock” warrants, reforming training protocols, and beefing up laws and funding for body-cameras.

The White House on Wednesday said it is considering an executive order on police reforms, but it wanted to see legislation options as well.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she’s leaving the negotiations to the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee and Congressional Black Caucus.

“I don’t know what the overtures are from the White House. But I hope that they are sincere, and I hope that they are real,” she said. “And I hope that they are statutory, or that they will be the law of the land. We want this to be as bipartisan nonpartisan as possible.”

“We will not rest until it becomes the law. We will not rest until the changes are made,” she added.

Democrats are concerned that Republicans are only interested in surface-level changes.

“The Republicans in the Senate introduced a terribly watered down bill. If House Republicans insist on that, then we’ll have to do without them,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Wednesday, according to Fox News.

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