Thursday on “Fox & Friends,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) slammed his Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Senate for forcing his police reform legislation to stall out, arguing the lack of will was political as the November presidential election looms.
“It’s — really, it’s closer to the trash can than it’s ever been,” he said. “Unfortunately, the Democrats really want to hold on to this issue. They believe they’re going to win in November, so they’d rather write their own reform bill without any input from the Republican Party. Think about this, Brian. In the House bill right now, they refused any Republican amendments. In our legislation, I offered five because they said they needed five. I offered 20 because they said 20. I offered them a manager’s amendment, which basically means we can rewrite the parts of the bill that you want to. They said no. They had no desire to actually solve this issue before the election.”
Scott said such inaction meant there was “blood on Democrats’ hands,” adding many of the cities where chokeholds are a problem were controlled by Democrats.
“[T]here will be blood on the Democrats’ hand. I went on the — went on the floor yesterday and talked about Ezekiel 33 that says that the watchman has blood on his hands when he doesn’t do what he can do to revert — to tell the society that danger is coming,” Scott explained. “We did our part. The Democrats had a chance to do their part. And the thing that drives me crazy is that when you look at the bill — the House bill — they wanted data collection. We got data collection. They said they wanted more data than we were providing. Easy fix. They said they were banning chokeholds. They didn’t ban chokeholds for 700,000 of the 800,000 agents. They banned it for only federal agents. Our bill banned it for federal agents, too.”
“So when you go piece-by-piece, the only thing you can conclude is it wasn’t what we were talking about, it was who was talking — and not just me, Tim Scott,” he continued. “But who was talking was the Republican Party saying to minority communities, to underserved communities, to liberal-controlled communities like Atlanta and Minneapolis, Cleveland — we were saying to those — to those residents, we hear you, we see you. Here are reforms. Remember this. Minneapolis — the City Council could have banned chokeholds. They could have had the duty to intervene way before George Floyd. We’re coming after to fix their problems. And that’s what the party — the Republican Party has been doing for decades — fixing the challenges brought to people in liberal cities by liberal politicians, and that’s really dangerous.”
In the end, the South Carolina Republican lawmaker called the Democrat tactics “race politics at its worst.”
“Nancy was for going to conference before she was not,” Scott added. “What actually happened was that the Democrats did not believe that we would produce a quality product. Once we produced it — and then the president, to put the icing on the cake, came up with an executive order that even the liberal commentators said this was a real, meaningful executive order — I think they took a leap back because they don’t want this president to have a victory on another serious issue confronting the minority communities. This is pure, pure race politics at its worst.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor