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Rep. Karen Bass: Police Reform Bill Will Be Passed in a ‘Bipartisan Manner’

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Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) is confident lawmakers will pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in a “bipartisan manner.”

The House passed the bill in March and its fate remains in the hands of the Senate.

While standing with the family of Floyd on Tuesday, Bass said, “I stand here to renew the commitment that we will get this bill on President Biden’s desk. We will get this bill on the desk and what is important is is that when it reaches President Biden’s desk it is a substantive piece of legislation — and that is far more important than a specific date.”

She added, “We will work until we get the job done. It will be passed in a bipartisan manner and so that is the commitment that we are making, I’m making personally to the [family.]”

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Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree “depraved mind” murder, and second-degree manslaughter charges for his role in Floyd’s death, as IJR previously reported.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday Biden is “still very hopeful that he will be able to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law.”

She added, “We are very closely engaged with negotiators while also leaving [the Senate] room to work.”

Bass also told CBS News, “We obviously are not going to make the May 25 deadline but I don’t have any reason to think it’s going to be two months later. Right now, I don’t have any reason to think it won’t be more than a couple of weeks.” 

According to CBS News, one issue negotiators are hung up on is whether to end qualified immunity, which protects officers from lawsuits and civil liability.

Some of the areas lawmakers agree on are limiting the use of police chokeholds, standards for no-knock warrants, and limiting the sharing of military equipment provided by the Defense Department to police departments.

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