Bass Says Congress Will Not Vote On George Floyd Policing Act In May

When Rep. Karen Bass introduced the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, she hoped that it would hit the Senate floor by May 25. However, it appears that she will fall just short of her initial goal. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the California lawmaker said that she doesn't expect the Senate to vote on the bill next week, but it "won't take" months for the vote to happen either.

“We won't make May 25, but I don't believe it's going to take months,” Bass said.

“What's most important is that we get it right and that it be substantive, even if it's a couple of weeks later. I won't say we're apart on all of these issues, we just haven't finished.”

Bass reportedly met with Sens. Tim Scott and Cory Booker for two hours last week regarding the bill. She has also worked with the Problem Solvers caucus to work on the bill. This week, she plans to meet with Booker and Scott again to discuss the bill further. Next week, she will remain in Washington when the House is not in session to further refine the bill as well.

As Bass works with both parties to pass this bill, two portions of the bill remain key sticking points, qualified immunity and color of law. Color of law is described as a statute in which police officers are prohibited from depriving “a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” Meanwhile, qualified immunity is a statute in which many police officers are absolved of any wrongdoing when at work unless they clearly violate the constitution. Democratic leaders have argued that both statutes would hold more police officers accountable for bad behavior. In contrast, Republican leaders have attempted to argue that removing protections for cops would make it harder for officers to do their jobs.

“The day that President Biden signs this bill, the next day we keep working because this bill, I think, will be significant," Bass said.

"But in no way, shape or form do I think it's going to be enough, even if I did get every single thing I wanted in it."

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