Tim Scott: Stalled police reform legislation a ‘crying shame’

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the Republican spearheading police reform legislation in the Senate, said Sunday it is a “crying shame” that his bill is stalled over partisan differences. 

“I look forward to having a conversation later this week with some of the House leaders on the legislation, because, if there is a path forward, we should find it. But what we cannot do is eliminate Republicans in the House and have Democrats in the Senate say, I’m not interested in having a conversation about a bill that has so much in common,” Scott said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

{mosads}“It is certainly a crying shame that the average person in this nation will not benefit from the parts of the bill that both sides agree upon right now, and not having to wait until November to make it an election year issue,” Scott added. 

He said the stall in legislation is “unfortunate for kids walking the streets, taking jogs, driving down the road.”

“I want to help those kids. I’m an African American who has had that experience … So, I look forward to having the conversation with my House colleagues that have been very serious …  But we cannot get something done if the Democrats in the Senate are more interested in presidential politics than they are getting something actually finished this year,” he added. 

Scott added that he has been speaking with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), lead sponsor of the House bill, and he is “serious about getting something done.” 

The House passed a sweeping police reform bill on Thursday, but the bill is going nowhere in the GOP-controlled Senate. In the Senate, meanwhile, Democrats blocked the bill spearheaded by Scott, who is the only black GOP senator. 

Asked if he could have pushed Republican senators to get a more aggressive police reform bill, Scott said “that’s what the amendment process is.” 

“You start in a position where you’re willing to negotiate on what’s in the best interest, not of Republicans or Democrats, by the way, but of actual American citizens who feel like their lives are in jeopardy. That’s what my bill wanted to confront,” he said. “And that’s what much of the House bill wanted to confront. And so the question — the answer to the question is, yes, without any question. We had an opportunity.”

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