Kamala Harris, John Cornyn Spar Over Senate Police Reform Bill

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  • Two US senators painted a picture of the increasing division between Republicans and Democrats about how to move to debate on police reform.

    During her remarks on the floor, Sen. Kamala Harris defended her attempts to negotiate with GOP lawmakers on a bipartisan legislative package after protests over racial inequality and the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police.

    The Democrat from California was questioned by Republican Sen. John Cornyn about the location and transparency of where the conversation will take place.

    “What I’m trying to fathom, Madam President, is why the senator would rather have these negotiations occur behind closed doors as opposed to here on the floor of the Senate for the American people to see broadcast on television,” Cornyn said. “Don’t you think that sort of interaction and debate and negotiation out in front of all 330 million Americans would be beneficial to healing our country? And coming to some consensus about what the appropriate reforms should be?”

    Both Cornyn, Harris and other congressional lawmakers including the two authors of the Senate bill all serve on the serve on the Judiciary Committee.

    As a rebuttal to Cornyn’s questions, Harris argued that Sentate Democrats have made numerous attempts in the committee to discuss a similar police overhaul drafted by House Democrats that is more far reaching.

    “Indeed, that is the beauty of the Judiciary Committee. Our meetings are public meetings,” Harris said.

    “If we’re going to talk about process, let us look at all the tools that are available to well-intentioned, well-meaning legislators if the goal is actually to solve and address the issue at hand. I’ve seen no evidence of that,” Harris said.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set the first vote on the GOP’s police overhaul bill for Wednesday June 24.

    The Justice in Policing Act is expected to pass the Democratic-led House later this week, and would create a national database of excessive-force encounters, limit legal protections for police and ban police chokeholds.

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    In This Story: Kamala Harris


    Kamala Devi Harris is an American politician and attorney who has served as the junior United States senator from California since 2017. She is the Democratic vice presidential nominee for the 2020 election.

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