Pelosi Turns To Black Caucus For Bill On Policing

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is turning to the Congressional Black Caucus for ideas on a legislative response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer last week.

Pelosi, along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and other lawmakers are also looking to pluck ideas from more than 40 existing bills on policing already introduced, according to Bloomberg

"It would be irresponsible for us to wait," said Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), head of the Congressional Black Caucus during a call with reporters. "Acting as soon as possible, I believe, means the end of June. It does not mean waiting until July."

The House is not scheduled to return to Washington for votes until June 30, though Hoyer has said lawmakers could be called back sooner. While some Senate Republicans have expressed interest in addressing the issue of police abuses and inequality, there’s been no sign that GOP lawmakers are prepared to move on comprehensive policing legislation.

Pelosi is turning to the Congressional Black Caucus to lead the way on the bill. Drafting of the House legislative language is underway, and Bass said the Judiciary Committee -- of which she is a member -- will hold its first hearing on the package next week. -Bloomberg

According to the report, measures on the table include getting rid of the 'qualified immunity' legal doctrine that shields police officers from liability or prosecution while on duty - as well as banning the use of choke holds and addressing racial profiling.

Language will also be included which would create commissions to review police training standards and they pertain to race and law enforcement.

While the legislation is expected to easily pass in the Democratic-controlled House, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), head of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, cast doubt on its ultimate viability - saying "I do not have confidence it will pass in the Senate."

On Tuesday, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York asked fellow Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California to spearhead draft legislation which could be introduced in the chamber. During a Tuesday press conference, Booker said that the package would be based in part on ideas provided by the Congressional Black Caucus, and that it will focus entirely on policing and criminal justice reform, without touching items such as health insurance and the environment.

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has set a June 16 hearing which will begin a "deep dive" on policing and race relations, according to the report.