Pelosi Compares GOP Police Reform Bill to Murder of George Floyd

June 23, 2020

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Republicans are trying to get away with "the murder of George Floyd" by pushing Sen. Tim Scott's (R., S.C.) police reform bill.

"[Republicans] are going to have to face the realities of police brutality. The reality of the need for justice in policing. And the recognition that there are many, many good people in law enforcement, but not all, and that we have to address those concerns," Pelosi told CBS News Radio. "When they admit that and have some suggestions that are worthy of consideration—but so far they were trying to get away with murder, actually, the murder of George Floyd."

Pelosi also criticized the media for giving Republicans too much attention for what she described as an "unsalvageable piece of legislation." She said that there was no chance for compromise because the two sides are too far apart on issues such as chokeholds and racial profiling.

Scott introduced the "Justice Act" on June 17. The bill calls for limits on police use of chokeholds and an emphasis on new training and deescalation measures. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he will fast-track the legislation through the Senate, although Senate Democrats indicated they will block the bill.

House Democrats are expected to pass their own legislation, which would seek to eliminate the use of chokeholds and end qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that protects officers from lawsuits.

Pelosi's comments come shortly after Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) called elements of Scott's proposal "token," for which he later apologized. Scott said Durbin's comment "hurts my soul for my country, for our people."

"To think that the concept of anti-lynching as a part of this legislation to be considered a token piece of legislation because perhaps I'm African American, the only one on this side of the aisle, I don't know what he meant, but ... those comments again hurts the soul," he said.