House

Pelosi refuses to apologize for accusing GOP of ‘trying to get away with murder’ with police reform bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she will not apologize for accusing congressional Republicans of “trying to get away with murder” with their police reform bill. 

“Absolutely, positively not. The fact is, I think you frankly in the press have given them far too much credit for a bill that does nothing,” the California Democrat said on MSNBC when asked if she’d apologize. “They’re saying, ‘Well you have your bill, they have theirs.’ Yeah, our bill does something, theirs does nothing.” 

Pelosi clarified that she was referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), not Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the author of the GOP police reform bill and the only Black Republican in the upper chamber.

Pelosi was responding to criticism over remarks she made Tuesday panning the Republican plan to reform policing amid mass protests over police brutality and systemic racism. 

“What the Senate did … is unsalvageable,” she said on CBS Radio. “We’re saying no chokeholds, they’re not saying no chokeholds. There’s a big difference. What’s the compromise? Some chokeholds?” 

“In other words, for something to happen, they’re going to have to face the reality of police brutality, the rallies of the need for justice in policing and the recognition that there are many, many good people in law enforcement but not all, and that we have to address those concerns. When they admit that and have some suggestions that are worthy of consideration, but so far they were trying to get away with murder, actually, the murder of George Floyd.” 

Pelosi was swiftly criticized for the remarks, with the Senate Republican Communications Center tweeting that she “owes Senator Scott an apology for these disgusting comments.” 

Senate Democrats officially blocked the GOP bill Wednesday, leaving the prospect of passing legislation in limbo as both parties refuse to budge. 

The two parties chiefly disagree over chokeholds, no-knock warrants in drug cases and qualified immunity, the rule protecting officers from legal liability over their actions. 

“What we have put together in the House of Representatives will make a difference, make a difference in justice in policing, make a difference in reducing brutality in terms of … actions with police, and in minority communities especially,” Pelosi said Tuesday. “They’re just going have to up their ante in terms of their sincerity and trying to make a change to get a job done.”

Tags CBS RADIO deaths in police custody Mitch McConnell MSNBC Nancy Pelosi police brutality police reform Tim Scott
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