The sole black Republican senator says his Democratic colleagues blocked a police reform bill for political reasons.
During an interview on Fox News on Thursday, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) discussed the fate of the Republicans’ police reform bill that he drafted, which was blocked by Senate Democrats on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, the Democrats really want to hold on this issue. They believe they’re going to win in November, so they’d rather write their own reform bill without any input from the Republican Party,” Scott said.
“They have no desire to actually solve this issue before the election,” he charged.
Scott explained that he offered amendments to the bill to address concerns Democrats had raised but said that his solutions were rejected.
He continued to argue that Republicans and Democrats could have compromised on the bill, but Democrats did not want to give Republicans a win before the election.
“When you go piece by piece, what the only thing you can conclude is that it wasn’t what we were talking about, it was who was talking. And not just me, Tim Scott, but who was talking was the Republican Party saying to minority communities, to underserved communities, to liberal controlled communities like Atlanta, and Minneapolis, Cleveland, we were saying to those residents, ‘We hear you. We see you. Here are reforms.'”
Watch the video below:
Scott’s comments come a day after Senate Democrats blocked a motion to move to final debate on the Republicans’ reform bill.
Before the vote, Senate Democrats blasted the bill and said it was “piece-meal,” “half-hearted,” and “not salvageable.”
Democratic lawmakers have called for a provision that would eliminate qualified immunity for police officers and allow victims to sue for financial damages after police misconduct. They have also called for a ban on the use of chokeholds and stricter standards regarding the use of force law enforcement officers.
Scott’s bill would make lynching a federal hate crime and encourage police departments to develop better training for officers.
Lawmakers have been looking to pass a police reform bill in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25.
Floyd, a black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes, sparking protests around the country and calls for police reform.