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Booker ‘sobered’ by prospects of police reform in divided Congress

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Peter Afriyie
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) leaving the Senate Chamber after voting on the CHIPS Act, a bill designed to boost the semiconductor industry in the United States, on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said on Sunday that he has been in talks with lawmakers across the aisle about a potential police reform package on a smaller scale, which would have a better chance of passing a divided Congress.

Booker, one of the lead negotiators in the Senate on police reform, said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that he was “sobered” by the reality that getting a massive overhaul of policing through a divided Congress was unlikely. But he said lawmakers were focused on more finite points of an agreement to try and get a bill to President Biden’s desk.

“I’m very sobered about the reality to get a large comprehensive bill done,” Booker said. “But I have been in conversations all week with people on both sides of the Capitol and both sides of the aisle with police leaders, national police leaders, national police union leaders, as well as civil rights activists that all want to get something done that could advance the cause of not just police reform, but raising standards, creating more transparency and more accountability.”

Booker was a lead negotiator in the stalled 2021 policing reform talks. Now the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis has reignited a legislative push to get reform through the Congress.

Booker said he has spoken with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) about getting a smaller policing package done. He said while there are things that Democrats might want to include in a bill on policing reform, he was focused on putting together a measure that would be able to clear both the Senate and the House.

“Passing a bill in the Senate… doesn’t mean it will pass in the House,” Booker said. “I want to get something to the president’s desk that will make Americans safer, that will give more confidence in American policing.”

Tags Cory Booker Cory Booker policing reform Senate Tyre Nichols

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