Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in that chamber, blasted Democrats for blocking debate on a police reform bill.
“The actual problem is not what is being offered. It is who is offering it…. As a black man, I get the ‘who’ being the problem. It’s one of the reasons why I went to Senator McConnell and said I want to lead this conversation…. What I missed in this issue is that the stereotyping of Republicans is just as toxic to the outcomes of the most vulnerable communities in this nation…. They cannot allow this party to be seen as a party that reaches out to all communities in this nation.”Senator Tim Scott Delivers Fiery Speech on Senate Floor After Senate Democrats Stonewall Legislation on Police Reform Across America, Sen. Tim Scott, June 24, 2020
We’ve long known that Congress is broken. As a body, they’ve become so partisan that they refuse to agree to compromise on anything. Congress last reformed the budget process in 1974, and hasn’t passed all budget bills on time since 1996, when Bill Clinton was president. We now regularly face shutdown deadlines and threats over all kinds of issues (but never money).
The last omnibus budget bill passed just in time to avert a December shutdown was a jaw-dropping $1.4 trillion, on the eve of Trump’s impeachment votes. And the budget is one of the prime constitutional mandates that Congress, and only Congress, must pass.
Now we’re dealing with police reform, an issue that needs national attention and is in the forefront of our news every day. What do Democrats do? They preen and yammer and raise money, and then block even debating a police reform bill, not because of the merits, but because it was a Republican offering it.
“If we’re all watching the same pictures that we have all found disgusting and unbelievable, why can’t we agree to tackle the issues in a substantive way here on the floor of the world’s greatest deliberative body?” Scott asked in an impassioned plea on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Because that’s what we’re supposed to do here: We debate the issues. I want the nation to see. I want the public to see. I want the world to see. I want all of America to see us debating this issue.”Senate Democrats Block GOP Police Reform Bill, NPR, June 24, 2020
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to an open amendment process, allowing Democrats to offer whatever proposals they like to this bill, if we can only debate it. But Congress is too broken to even allow this. Sen. Kamala Harris preened, while Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “political show,” while continuing to perform a political show.
Meanwhile, the House is going to vote on a Democrat bill, and it will pass on party lines. The Senate will likely do nothing but make speeches and accuse one another.
Just like every major proposal and nomination, only procedural nuclear weapons work in the Senate now, because it’s totally broken and cannot function.
This is 2020. It’s only going to get worse because both parties have moved further apart and purged anyone who is capable of compromise. This creates a geological lockup while pressure builds.
Do you know what happens in geology when two plates lock up together and the pressure builds? An earthquake. At some point, expect it, politically speaking. And like most earthquakes, it will leave whatever it touches in ruins.
Maybe the nation needs that. Sen. Scott seems to see it coming, in the cities that have suffered under Democrat control for half a century.
I’m telling you I had this conversation five years ago. I’m having this conversation right now. We could do something right now. You know, here’s the truth. In Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, all these cities could have banned choke holds themselves. They could have increased the police reporting themselves. They could have more data information themselves. They could have de-escalation training themselves. They could have duty to intervene themselves, Minneapolis as well.
All these communities have been run by Democrats for decades. Decades. What is the R. O. I. For the poorest people in this nation? And I don’t blame them. I blame an elite political class with billions of dollars to do whatever they want to do and look at the results for the poorest, most vulnerable people in our nation.
I’m willing to compete for their vote. Are you?