Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told “America’s Newsroom ” Wednesday that congressional Democrats would rather keep the “police reform issue alive until November” than work with Republicans on a “bipartisan basis.”
“They’re ending the debate on something that’s putting communities at risk, police officers at risk, and future [George] Floyds at risk,” said Tillis, who alleged that Democrats believe “for some perverse reason” that putting off police reform helps them in November at the “expense of community safety.”
“I think it is a disgrace,” Tillis added.
Tillis spoke hours before Senate Democrats blocked debate on a police reform bill authored by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., sparking a furious war of words on the floor and marking an apparent impasse weeks after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody led to calls for new legislation
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of issuing a “bizarre new ultimatum” and wanting to be allowed to rewrite the chamber’s legislation before it is even debated.
“The Senate was supposed to officially take up police reform on the floor today, instead our Democratic colleagues are poised to turn this routine step into a partisan impasse,” he said.
McConnell added that the bill was a “first offer” ahead of the debate process and that “nobody thought” it was going to be the final product.
“What’s supposed to happen in this body is that we vote or agree to get on to a bill and then we discuss, debate and amend it until at least 60 senators are satisfied or it goes nowhere,” he said.
“Why isn’t [Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.] saying, ‘Let’s get on the floor so I can offer amendments’?” Tillis asked. “Why doesn’t Chuck Schumer recognize and tell everybody that even if we get on the bill, if it doesn’t get to a place where they support it, then we won’t get to 60 votes and we won’t move forward? Even if we did, it has to go to the House.”
Tillis called the Democrat’s refusal to negotiate police reform with Republicans “complete theater” and said they will have “blood on their hands” if they shut down the process.