“We’ve got to sort out this issue and I feel absolutely pressured by all these incidents and I think other people who are concerned about this issue feel the same pressure,” Rep. Karen Bass, California Democrat. , Told CNN.
Bass told CNN in March that the group has been working through “some thorny issues” in its discussion on a potential Senate bill, discussing bipartisan action.
“Informal discussion still continues,” Bass told CNN on Wednesday. “There is no formal dialogue, but I am hoping that we will be there soon.” “Informal does not mean progress.”
In addition to Bass, those discussions include Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Democratic Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey, and the White House.
Rep. John Katko, a Republican from New York, confirmed that Scott and Booker met Wednesday with a working group made up of members of the Bipartisan House Problem Solverus Caucus to discuss.
“We’re still working on a package,” Katko said. “The Senate said we’re going to take a look at what we’re doing and we’re going from there,” Katko told CNN.
Eyes on scott
The key to these discussions with Bass and others now is Scott, who indicated that progress was being made.
“I think we’re making progress on the parameters, we’ll see,” Scott told CNN earlier this week if there was progress in the final month of the conversation, so he said that he would take ten minutes with Karen Bass. Previously said “
Bass praised Scott as “a great collaborator,” adding “him, who has been a wonderful collaborator and collaborator.”
Asked this week by CNN’s Manu Raju if he sees a possible compromise on qualified immunity, Scott told CNN “we’ll find out soon,” adding, “I’m still optimistic.”
White house scene
Despite more than a year of inactivity, the White House sees police reform as an immediate priority, something they are tracking in Congress and engage when necessary.
White House press secretary Jane Saki indicated that the White House is letting the Legislative Assembly process play out on Capitol Hill, supporting George Floyd for justice in the Policing Act, but the openness of the adjustment to bring Senate Republicans to the board Is suggesting
Asked whether the White House is open to the Justice Act, Pakki said Tuesday that the White House’s favorite legislative vehicle was the George Floyd Act, which passed the House last month. There is zero indication that the House version of the bill would be able to garner the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.
“I know that Senator Scott, Senator Booker, and others are in close discussion and coordination about what the road ahead might look like,” Saki told reporters. “We certainly understand that there may be changes to the proposals that have been put forward to date.”
She continued, “We believe that the George Floyd Act has a lot of components that will help build trust again, help address, put in place many reforms that are, frankly, long overdue. But we Also aware that democracy is in action. This means that changes are happening, so we have to see what the discussions look like, and whether the president can support any change that is being made through this process. ”
As those negotiations take place on the Hill, White House officials from the Office of Legislative Affairs, as well as members of the Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice, and Director of the Office of Public Engagement, Cedric Richmond, a former member of Congress, are in discussions with members Are included. Both parties.
Psaki described the White House as “very busy” with Congress.
“Ultimately, it will be up to them to determine how they can negotiate and come to a package to conclude that there may be enough support to move forward,” she said on Wednesday, adding that someone arriving at the president’s desk Support from the law will also be required. Republican.
Campaign promises, refocused
In the midst of these legislative efforts, the White House also stuck to Biden’s promise of a campaign to create a Police Reform Commission, something that advocates apprising the White House could reverse to pass the George Floyd Act.
“Based on close, respectful consultation with partners in the civil rights community, the administration decided that this time would not be the most effective way to give our police top priority, which is in the region, Rice said in a statement on Monday. Said, “Sign George Floyd Justice into law.”
The decision to stand on a commission was made after “close cooperation” with the civil rights community, including the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, as well as civil rights leaders and police unions Conversations with him were also included. , A source familiar with the administration’s efforts said.
Civil rights organizations, he said, shared with the White House that they did not want a commission because it could take months to set up and make a report. There was also concern that it would be an imitation of Obama and the Trump-era commissions. The administration also received a response, the source said, adding that a commission would “reduce the pace and risk of passage” for the George Flow Act.
There are other mechanisms that the White House intends to use towards changing police laws and regulations. Sasaki noted on Wednesday that funding for local police departments and municipalities to reduce police vandalism was part of Biden’s discretionary spending request sent to Congress last week.
“The police department needs to continue to have the resources it needs to implement meaningful reform and conditioning federal dollars to meet those improvements, which is a reasonable and effective step,” he said, with discretionary spending guidance specific Provides funds with requirements. Diversity and Accountability.
That funding would still have to go through the appropriation process, with lawmakers just beginning what is expected to be a lengthy negotiations.
Biden predicted some optimism on Tuesday that the talks would be fruitful.
Asked reporters if people should expect that the way African Americans interact with the police in America may change, he said, “A lot. And I’ll tell you later.”
This story has been updated with additional development on Thursday.