Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., ripped into Democrats Wednesday after the bill he authored on police reform failed in the Senate on a procedural vote, accusing Democrats of punting on the issue until after the election and abusing what he described as their “monopoly” on black voters.
“They cannot allow this party to be seen as a party that reaches out to all communities in this nation,” he said of congressional Democrats.
The procedural vote on whether to start debate was 55-45; it needed 60 votes in order to proceed. Republicans had 53 votes, but not enough Democrats joined them.
This effectively freezes police reform in Congress for now, even if the House approves its own measure on Thursday, despite a nationwide movement for reform since the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Democrats had objected to the bill not ending police chokeholds or qualified immunity for police officers.
But Scott emphasized what the bill did, including increasing requirements for use-of-force reports, a tracker on “no-knock” warrants and encouraging agencies to do away with chokeholds or lose federal funding.
“We were four [votes] short of saying yes, yes to having enough information to direct training and resources in such a way that we could hold people accountable,” he said. “We were four votes short of saying yes to having a powerful tool of pooling resources to compel behavior on chokeholds.”
He said that, if the bill had moved to the debate stage, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had agreed to allow debate on 20 amendments, and that Democrats could have gotten most of what they wanted.
“The irony of the story is today and through the rest of June and all of July, what we’re going to have here is instead of getting 70 percent or more of what you wanted, you’re going to get zero,” he said.
He turned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent comments that Republicans are “trying to get away with murder, actually – the murder of George Floyd,” calling those remarks “toxic.”
“That’s not politics, that’s not a game to win, that’s ‘you lose, you will sooner or later lose,’ but immediately every kid around the nation that heard that nonsense lost in that moment,” Scott said.
He then doubled down on his claim that it wasn’t about policy, but about politics as he accused Democrats of trying to “punt this ball” until the election and devaluing black voters.
“What’s become evident to me is [Pelosi] knows something that we all know — she knows that she can say that because the Democrats have a monopoly on the black vote,” he said.
“And no matter the return on their loyalty, and I am telling you the most loyal part of the Democrat construct are black communities, and no matter the loyalty of the people, the return they get will always continue to go down because in monopolies you start devaluing your customer.”
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.