Senate Republicans unveiled proposed changes to police procedures and accountability Wednesday, countering Democrats’ far-reaching overhaul with a more modest package but one that underscores how swiftly the national debate on race has been transformed five months before elections.
The White House signaled President Donald Trump’s support as Republicans embraced a new priority with the “Justice Act,” the most ambitious GOP policing proposal in years in response to the massive public protests over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell promised speedy action next week, when the House will also be voting on the Democratic plan. That puts the two bills on a collision course, but the momentum of suddenly shifting America.
The outlook is extremely fluid, as both parties see a need to meet the moment after graphic cellphone videos and a public outcry over police killings sparked a worldwide movement against racism and police violence. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the GOP package as “inadequate.” But she also said House Democrats “hope to work in a bipartisan way to pass legislation that creates meaningful change to end the epidemic of racial injustice and police brutality in America.” California Democrat Karen Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is one of the members of Congress leading the charge for this change.
Today on AirTalk, Larry talks with Bass about the movement against police brutality and the meaning of activism in today’s world.
With files from the Associated Press
Karen Bass, Democratic Congresswoman representing California's 37th district, which includes parts of south and west Los Angeles, she also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, and is one of House Democrats behind the Justice in Policing Act; she tweets @RepKarenBass