Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday promised quick action in the chamber on a newly unveiled GOP police reform proposal, challenging Democrats to decide whether to block the legislation from advancing or allow it to come up for debate on the floor.
“What I’m announcing today is after we do two circuit judges who are queued up either this week or early next week, we’re going to turn to the Scott bill,” McConnell said, referring to Senate GOP legislation led by Republican Sen. Tim Scott. McConnell made the remarks during a Capitol Hill press conference to formally unveil the legislation.
“I’m going to file cloture on the motion to proceed and our Democratic friends, if they want to make a law, and not just try to make a point, I hope they’ll join us in getting on the bill and trying to move forward in the way the Senate does move forward when it’s trying to actually get an outcome,” McConnell said.
The announcement from McConnell sets up competing action in the House and Senate on different police reform proposals.
House Democrats are expected to vote next week on their own sweeping policing overhaul measure, a bill that will be marked-up by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Key differences between the legislative proposals from Republicans and Democrats are likely to create hurdles to any attempt to get legislation across the finish line in Congress and to the President’s desk.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer refused to say Tuesday if Democrats would seek to block the Scott plan from coming to the floor for a debate, saying “we haven’t even seen the bill yet, so it’s premature to comment,” while also declining say if he’s encouraging Democrats to avoid co-sponsoring the plan.
The move by McConnell comes amid nationwide calls for action after multiple high-profile episodes of police brutality.