House Passes George Floyd Justice In Policing Act Of 2020
"When we pass this bill, the Senate will have a choice, to honor George Floyd's life or to do nothing," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ahead of the vote.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the police reform bill named in honor of George Floyd that seeks to end qualified immunity and would require precincts to surrender data on use of force.
Despite Republican pushback, the bill passed with a final vote of 236-181, with three Republicans — Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan — voting in favor, reports CNN.
“Today with the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House is honoring his life and the lives of all those killed by police brutality and pledging: Never again," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday before the vote. "When we pass this bill, the Senate will have a choice, to honor George Floyd's life or to do nothing.”
“My community has been crying out for justice and real reform for decades,” she said. “This legislation is an important step in the right direction, but we can’t stop here. We must heed the calls of the people who are impacted by police brutality daily and restructure broken police departments across our country."
Although the bill passed in the House, many fear that it will not be taken up in the Senate, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the House’s plan is an overreach and will not advance.
“The House will do its duty and pass the Justice in Policing bill today. I hope the Senate will do the same, but I fear it will not," House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said.
President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk, saying it was “overbroad” and “would deter good people from pursuing careers in law enforcement, weaken the ability of law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and keep our communities safe, and fail to bring law enforcement and the communities they serve closer together,” according to a statement from his administration.“The Senate Republicans want very much to pass a bill on police reform. ... We have total cooperation with many different communities, including the police community. They want it very much to happen,” Trump said at a news conference, per The Washington Post. “The Democrats don’t want to do it because they want to weaken our police, they want to take away immunity, they want to do other things.”
The passing of the bill in the House comes a day after Democrats in the upper chamber blocked a Republican police reform bill, the Justice Act, stating it wasn’t expansive enough in its policies. It needed 60 votes to pass but failed with a 55-45 vote.
The Republican bill would not have ended qualified immunity and did not include a federal ban on chokeholds, according to The Post.