Tim Scott: 'June or bust' on police reform talks

Tim Scott: 'June or bust' on police reform talks

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSenate passes bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to first Black NHL player Scott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill Sunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe MORE (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that if there’s a deal to be reached on police reform it will be reached next month.

“I think it’s June or bust,” Scott, the lead negotiator for Republicans, told reporters on Wednesday when asked about a timeline. “I think we have three weeks in June to get this done.”

Scott’s comments come after he declined to publicly embrace the May 25 unofficial deadline pushed for by President BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE and top Democrats who had hoped to be able to announce a deal by the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.

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Negotiators have been working behind the scenes for months, with those talks ramping up in recent weeks, as they’ve tried to lock down a long-sought agreement on reforming the country’s law enforcement after a spate of police-involved deaths.

Scott released a statement on Monday with Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerHuman rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer MORE (D-N.J.) and Rep. 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.), the two lead Democratic negotiators, saying that they are making “progress” and “remain optimistic” while acknowledging that they were still working through “key differences.”

The group doesn’t appear to be on the cusp of a deal. Asked about the potential that something gets announced next week, when the Senate is out of town, Scott told reporters that they wouldn’t have to “worry about that.”

The group is still working through two of the biggest sticking points to a deal: qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that shields police officers from being sued, and changes to Section 242, the criminal standard for convicting law enforcement.

The House has already twice passed a sweeping bill named after Floyd, a Black man killed when a white police officer kneeled on his neck, that bans chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at the federal level; overhauls qualified immunity; and creates a national police misconduct registry.

But the bill went nowhere in the GOP-controlled Senate last year, where Democrats blocked a narrower bill offered by Scott that did not overhaul qualified immunity.