- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2020

Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries on Monday called on the Senate to work out a deal for a policing package and end the congressional stalemate.

“That legislation is the most comprehensive, the most thorough and the most transformative bill ever to be passed,” Mr. Jeffries, New York Democrat, told reporters. “The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is the only bipartisan game in town right now.”

He argued that the Senate GOP package’s reliance on financial incentives to curb controversial uses of force left too much wiggle room for police departments that choose to opt-out of the federal stipulations.

The House passed Thursday on a nearly party-line vote its own sweeping police overhaul package that created new standards for police use of force and stripped liability protections for officers.

Three Republicans — Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan and Will Hurd of Texas — bucked party lines to support the package that Republicans argued overstepped on states’ rights.

The Senate bill, which avoids federal mandates and ramps up reporting requirements, was blocked from even moving forward to debate and amendments last week after Senate Democrats said there too many fundamental differences between the two competing bills.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, has said the House bill is not going anywhere in his chamber, meaning the policing issue is caught in a political gridlock.

In addition to the policing package, Mr. Jeffries said the Congressional Black Caucus is working on more legislation to address racial inequality.

“We won’t see Chairman [Jerrold] Nadler Judiciary Committee move on anything within his jurisdiction until the Congressional Black Caucus has weighed in about what our moving forward agenda will be in the context of systemic racism in America,” he said.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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