US House representatives weigh options ahead of Thursday’s debate on police reform

Washington DC Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats and Republicans continue to battle over how far to go with police reform. Pennsylvania Republican Fred Keller is all-in on the Senate Republican bill, that has the president’s support.

“Sen. Tim Scott had put out a good framework and a good bill and that’s the bill we’re really supporting,” Keller said of the JUSTICE Act.

Meanwhile, Democrats are backing the wider-reaching House bill, the Justice in Policing Act, that should pass later this week.

“We will probably have to compromise, that’s the nature of the American political system, but I hope the compromise looks more like the House system than the Senate version,” Virginia Rep. Don Beyer said.

Beyer says Democrats will need to work with the GOP to produce a bill the president will sign.

“The fact that the president approves of the Senate bill, gives us a starting point,” Beyer said.

Beyer says Democrats want a measure that bans chokeholds and eliminates qualified immunity, which would make it easier for victims of police violence to sue cities and counties.

“From a negotiation standpoint, for Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer and the like, their goal will be to pull the Senate version as close to the House version as possible and still get the president to sign it,” Beyer said.

Keller says the president is unlikely so support a bill that compromises “too much.”

“It has to uphold the basic tenets of what we want to have happen, but can also be flexible enough so that it can be instituted effectively across all law enforcement agencies,” Keller said.

The House returns to the Capitol to debate the bill on Thursday.


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