House GOP delays police reform bill

House Republicans are delaying legislation addressing police reforms after initially signaling that a GOP proposal would be introduced this week.

GOP sources confirmed that Ohio Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel Jordan58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy Jordan acknowledges talking to Trump on Jan. 6 MORE, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, does not plan to roll out a police reform package by Friday, despite telling GOP colleagues that his package would be unveiled by the end of the week.

One senior GOP aide said a House GOP package could be unveiled as soon as next week, but the situation remains fluid. Rep. Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonGOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Republicans divided on how hard to push vaccines McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (R-La.) said Republicans may want to wait and see if they can attach GOP amendments to a Democratic police reform package that will be marked up in his Judiciary panel next week.

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“Because if we can improve [the Democrats’] bill and make some relatively minor modifications to it, we might be able to get everybody on the same piece of legislation,” Johnson, head of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told reporters on Wednesday. “If not, of course, we will have to produce another bill of our own."

Separately, the White House said Trump could issue an executive order on police reform.

The delay comes as Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTrump helps raise million in first six months of 2021 Senate passes bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to first Black NHL player Scott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill MORE (R-S.C.), the sole black GOP senator, has unveiled a 10-point draft proposal on police reform legislation that provides more funding for police body cameras, requires police to report use-of-force incidents to the FBI and makes lynching a federal hate crime. Scott discussed his plan with top White House officials, including chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsMeadows says Trump World looking to 'move forward in a real way' Trump takes two punches from GOP Watchdog urges Justice to probe Trump, Meadows for attempting to 'weaponize' DOJ MORE and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerBlack community group loses bid to acquire downtown LA Mall despite highest offer Kushner launching investment firm in move away from politics: report Washington Post calls on Democrats to subpoena Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Meadows for testimony on Jan. 6 MORE, on Tuesday evening.

“The ball’s in the Senate’s court. That’s where the momentum is,” said one senior GOP official. 

But it’s unclear if House Republicans would simply endorse the Scott proposal or write their own legislation. Johnson said he was in touch throughout the day with Scott.

“I think any talk about a companion bill or a separate bill is premature. Republicans in the Senate, House and White House are communicating and working together to pass a bipartisan bill that will become law,” said a House GOP aide familiar with the talks. “Ultimately, it’s too early. It remains to be seen what happens next, but expect a united front in the end.”

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Republicans are facing enormous pressure to respond to the nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism following the Memorial Day killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by a white Minneapolis police officer. 

On Monday, House Democrats unveiled a sweeping police reform package, crafted by senior Congressional Black Caucus leaders, that features efforts to rein in racial profiling and police brutality, largely with new training requirements and tougher accountability measures for abusive officers.

And recent polling shows the American public now views law enforcement’s treatment of African Americans as unfair. A Washington Post-Schar School poll revealed that 69 percent of Americans said the Floyd killing represented a broader problem in police departments, while 29 percent said it was an isolated incident. 

Nearly 3 in 4 Americans said they’re supportive of the two weeks of protests that have erupted in small and large cities across the country after Floyd’s death.

Democrats sought to draw more attention to the issue Wednesday, holding a House Judiciary hearing on police brutality and racial profiling that featured emotional testimony from Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd

Republicans on the Judiciary panel joined Democrats in condemning Floyd’s killing. But Jordan and other GOP lawmakers on the committee used the hearing as an opportunity to draw a parallel between blacks who’ve suffered from police brutality and attacks on law enforcement officials.

Republicans called Angela Underwood Jacobs, the sister of a federal officer slain during protests in Oakland, Calif., to testify on the need for “lawful peaceful solutions that uplift and benefit everyone,” including upstanding law enforcement officials. 

“The murder of your brother in the custody of the Minneapolis police is a tragedy, it never should have happened. It's as wrong as wrong can be, and your brother's killers will face justice,” Jordan told Philonise Floyd in his opening remarks.

“Miss Underwood Jacobs, the murder of your brother by the riders in Oakland is a tragedy. It never should have happened,” Jordan added. “It's as wrong as wrong can be, and your brother’s killers will face justice.”

Progressive lawmakers and activist groups’ calls to cut funding to police departments in the wake of Floyd’s death has been met with strong pushback from Republicans and reluctance from a number of high-profile Democrats including Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen BassKaren Ruth BassScott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying Omar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia MORE (D-Calif.), who helped lead the efforts for the Democrats' police reform proposal. 

While the Democratic reform package is expected to receive little to no support from GOP lawmakers, several Republicans have expressed an openness to certain provisions in the plan. 

Texas Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdFirst Democrat jumps into key Texas House race to challenge Gonzales Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel MORE, the only black House Republican, who took part in peaceful protests after Floyd’s death, told his colleagues there are elements of the Democratic bill he supports during a call with members on Tuesday evening, according to a source on the call. 

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“Will and I agree that there are aspects of Democrats' bill that makes sense," one GOP lawmaker told The Hill, citing a ban on chokeholds as one of the aspects of the proposal they could see Republicans getting behind. 

The lawmaker said they believe if they are going to see any success in passing reforms, parties will likely have to come together on a measure that can pass both chambers. 

"I think to be effective, to be assertive, we need to do a bipartisan bill," the source said. "It's not the time for some messaging bill and I believe we can do something serious if we move beyond stuff that's not going to win the day in the Senate."

Mike Lillis contributed.