tv U.S. Senate Senate Democrats on Police Reform LGBTQ Rights CSPAN June 23, 2020 1:33pm-2:16pm EDT
>> watched tv this summer, saturday evening at 8 pm eastern. settle in and watch several hours of your favorite authors. saturday we're featuring two-time pulitzer prize winning author and historian david mccullough author of over a dozen books including the wright brothers , the american spirit and his most recent the pioneers. and watch saturday, july 11 as we feature commentator author and founder of the national review william f buckley. what tv all summer on c-span2. >> in advance of the senate beginning consideration of senator scott police reform legislation, several democratic senators spoke about police reform efforts today on the floor. they all urged the republican leader to allow consideration of ademocratic proposal . include minority leader schumer, senators cory booker and colin harris . here'swhat they had to say .
>> the past few months i've been among the most wrenching and tumultuous in recent memory . the deaths ofgeorge floyd , breanna taylor and ahmad marbury as well as the pandemic have forced our country to reckon with not only decade of long failure to perform our police departments and prevent unwarranted brutality against black americans , but alsothe centuries long struggle against racial injustice . here in congress, democrats have sought to turn the anger and frustration and yes, sometimes despair in our country into real and meaningful action. democrats wish to seize the moment. three weeks ago democrats announced the bill that would finally bring strong, comprehensive andlasting change to police departments across america . the justice in policing act led by senators booker and harris.
the house of representatives will pass that bill this week. but here in the senate we have a much different story. senate republicans responded to our comprehensive legislation that proposes a bill that is so much weaker on nearly every single count and worse still, it's completely silent on so many issues that scream out for action . should police officer he held a greater account if they violate americansdigital rights ? the republican bill is silent . should police department scontinue to have easy access to military grade equipment? the republican bill is silent . should police department be forced to change their behavior when it comes to racial profiling, develop better use of force standards, should the justice hadepartment be empowered to encourage and investigate police departments that have bad patterns and practices ? silent, silent, silent and in the place of real change and accountability for police officers and departments, the
republican bill proposes a slew of studies and commissions. we don't need to study the problem of police misconduct and violence. we need to solve it area no doubt these issues are complex multifaceted and difficult. but the republican legislation attends as if the cancer of police brutality is in fact, in reality little more than a runny nose. the republican legislation attends its as if the cancer of police brutality is a reality littlemore than a runny nose . the national conversation about policing reform which has been ongoing for several years was renewed by the terrible killing ofgeorge floyd . his windpipe crushed by an officer who kept his knee on floyd'sneck . for nine minutes, nearly 9 minutes. the bill my republican friends have drafted not even completely ban the type of rule tactic that led to george floyd stat.
the republican bill does not even fully prevent the kind of tactics that spark this whole debate in the first place. rhianna taylor, a first responder was asleep in her bed in kentucky when she was killed by police executed a no knock warrant. the republican bill does not ban no not works. it does not limit no knock warrants . or require police departments to provide more information aibefore obtaining them from a court. it calls for moredata , more data on the use of no knock warrants. after the tragic loss of breanna taylor, how could the republican bill not even attempt to prevent the of events that led to her death. imagine if president johnson after the bus with march in selma and the righteous movement for civil rights and proposed a bill that called for more data onthe effectiveness of poll taxes and other voter intimidation techniques . imagine if president johnson instead of the voting rights act proposed a voting rights
commission to study the issue a little bit more. there is no escaping the fact that senate republicans have drafted a policing bill that is deeply, fundamentally and irrevocably flawed. and the democrats are not only the ones to say so you this morning's washington post, the floyd family lawyer reverend sharpton, the naacp legal defense fund urged center oppose the gop reform bill area they call it a nonstarter, a nonstarter and that is whatwe believe as well . last night the naacp legal defense fund said that it cannot support legislation that does not embody the strong accountability framework or police officers and other law enforcement officer whoengaged in misconduct . the lawyers for the families of george floyd and breanna taylor, one of the nations most renowned civil rights attorneys, benjamin crump
wrote that the republican legislation is in direct contrast to the demands of the people who have been protesting area", the black community is tired of lipservice shock at the republican proposal can be thought of as legislation. that's the lawyer for the families of breanna taylor and george floyd. let me be, the attorney representing the families who are seeking justice believe the republican bill is completely inadequate, a service and can hardly be thought of as legislation out leader mcconnell respond to that chart. how does he respond when the family lawyer is his bill is a nonstarter. civil rights groups who have been the noble authority of these issues for generations who want nothing more than to see meaningful legislation are urging the senate to reject the republicanproposal . they see this bill for the futile and maybe cynical ploy
it is. their opposition speaks louder. almost any other. who does america believe when it comes to dealing withthese issues ? leader mcconnell we seem to be new to these issues or the civil rights groups who been fighting for change for decades area who does america believe? we democrats are certain that the mcconnell plan will not indeed cannot result in any legislation passing. it's clear the republican bill as is will not get 60 votes. there's overwhelming topposition to the bill in our pockets. and because the bill needs such large-scale and fundamental change , there is no conceivable way a series of amendments long enough to cure thedefects in the bill that garnered 60 votes either. so no bill , no bill will pass as a result of this ploy by senator mcconnell.
the republican majority has given the senate a bad bill and proposed no credible way to sufficiently improve it. simply put, leader mcconnell has created a cul-de-sac. from which no legislation can emerge. erleader mcconnell's plan appears to be designed to get the burden of dealing with policing reform off republican shoulders by setting up a process which has guaranteed not to result in successfullegislation . again, leader mcconnell is leading the senate into a cul-de-sac a process designed to fail. but there's a way out of this cul-de-sac. yes, there is a way out. it's the same process that has led to success in the senate time and time again. it's a simple word. bipartisanship. this morning, senators
booker, harris and i this morning senator booker, harris and i are sending a letter to leader mcconnell addressing the need for bipartisan talk to get constructed startingpoint on policing reform . o if our two parties to get together to draft a abipartisan proposal and even if we don't agree on everything, we agreed to invoke a real commitment process wthat we might produce a bill that has a real shot at passing area if the republican leader would acknowledge the obvious need for these talks, there's a real chance we could produce legislation that has a shot at passing. so we are pleading with leader mcconnell instead of pressing forward, with this partisan bill that's designed to make sure no bill passes, leader mcconnell pursue a path of design to produce real meaningful policing
reform. in the senate, where 60 votes are required to achieve almost anything a bipartisan arprocess is the only way to move forward. my friends, this could be a moment for the senate to rise to theoccasion . there's certainly something happening out there in america. hundreds of thousands of protesters of every faith and color and age have taken to the streets to demand change. if americans out in the country can together join in a righteous chorus calling for change, we in the senate and at least try to come to deliver it. but it's going to take more than typical games here in the senate that leader mcconnell seems to be playing . we are going to have to rise above the ticket or leave it legislating that has trapped us in the status quo on so many issues.
we are able to negotiate a $3 trillion emergency aid package before bringing it to the floor of the senate. we've done it on budgets, criminal justice reform, on the great american outdoors act. bipartisan immigration bill that passed the senate with two thirdsvote . on very contentious issues because it was bipartisan . so on even thorny issues police reform, we can , we must work with each other. and we need to in order to achieve a bill that can actually pass the senate. so let me repeat my request to leader mcconnell. let us not retreat to partisan corners on such a vital issue. let us appeal to the higher incidence of this chamber and try to find a bill together.
i yield to the senator from newjersey . >> adam president's senator from new jersey. >> i think the center leader for his words. the senate leader, the democratic leader talk about what's happening in our country. i have never seen something like this before in all my years e. where hundreds of thousands of americans have been out in protest and not just certain sectors, all 50 states, large cities and small towns, americans from every background, race, religion, political party have joined together following the gruesome capture of the torture and murder of a fellow american. this is a profound moment. it is a moral moment and we know this is not a partisan
moment because the goodwill of all americans is evident. from national polling shows that real reform is widely supported by people of both parties to just the voices of people that are saying that we are a nation formed around the fundamental idea of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to have it so fundamentallyviolated . the call is for us to act. to come together. the men and women and do something to protect human life. and we've done that before on the federal level. we've made bipartisan way, come together to protect people against indiscriminate violence. from the violence against women act to even the
historic bipartisan work that went on to get 99 members of this body kind and anti-lynching bill. i am grateful for that act of our history, that this is a body that has affected multiple times to try and protect human life. no one need watch a video of eight minutes and 46 seconds again to understand that this body now holds a true moral choice of how would we ask, what will we do in this moral moment in our country. will we come together and protect life and liberty or will we do nothing and allow the violence to happen, the cycle in our nation. the name after name after name after name that we know and the thousands of other
names that we do not know. black lives being abused, civil rights being violated. lives being lost because we have failed the moment in our nation. a little over 2 weeks ago, leader schumer, senator harrison.along with colleagues in the house introduced and ask that was narrowly focused on accountability. it is he wrote in on what we could do to create accountability, to ensure oversight, to implement transparency and demand action at people in this country in both parties widely believed should and must be banned. the bill that is being put forth by leader schumer is
wholly unacceptable to bring accountability, transparency , consequences when our common values as a country are violated. this is not about partisanship. a republican bill and the democratic bill. it is about taking meaningful action that will create change. the bill leader mcconnell wants to put on the floor is called thejustice act . it belies its name because it does not in any way even serve as a starting point or even a baseline for negotiation. the american people are not in the streets chanting we want more data. we want more data. the american people are not in the streets chanting give us a commission, give us a commission.
we know the data. we have had commissions from the turner report all the way to the 21st century task force on policing. what we are hearing a demand for from the voices all over our country including leaders in police department through mayors to local leaders to activists is real accountability that if you do something wrong in america there will be consequences. that no one is above the law. that we in this country will make sure that those who represent law enforcement do so in a way that accords with our common values and our common ideals d. in fact we want to go further in this country.
we have a greater moral imagination that does not have us trapped in the quicksand of the present but calls to us to rise to a higher ground . that we can be a nation that imagines ourselves having a larger definition of law enforcement, a larger definition of public safety . we cannot get mired in this moment. this must be the start of planning to that higher ground but the problem with the bill that the leader mcconnell wants to put on the floor is not bold. it's not courageous. there is no great imagination about what we can be. it doesn't challenge us to come together. what it does is it guarantees that the cycle of violence in our country, the cycle of the use of civil rights, the cycle of that is so moved so
many americans will continue. if we don't implement real measures of accountability, the police officers in this country cas the republican bill fails to do, it is not if but when we will be back here again after another police officer kills another unarmed black person. and faces no fear of federal accountability in the courts. if we don't establish real transparency measures with a national registry of police misconduct, which leader mcconnell still failed to do, it's not if but when we will be back here again after another officer who has a record of inappropriate use of force will get fired from
one town and hired in the next and the hurting another citizen, violating their civil rights were worse killingthem . if we do not end those harmful practices, what americans of all backgrounds know are wrong what religious profiling, no knock words in drug cases
and the use of choke holds which this mitch mcconnell bill fails to do, it is not if but when we will be back here again after another breanna taylor is murdered in her own home after a no knock warrant. after another eric garner is suffocated todeath on a sidewalk with an inhumane chokehold . and if we do not create a use of force standard in america since this republican bill again
fails to do, we will be back here again the next time another officer uses deadly force when they could have used de-escalation. because that deadly force was reasonable. though not necessary. i hear the voices, we all hear the voices s. the anguish,
the agony, the pain, the trauma, the hurt that has triggered a nation to rise up like has never happened in the last 50 years . we are in a moment of profound possibility but what do we face is being shut down here in the senate over an impotent bill that fails to meet this moment. the american people are demanding accountability, not commissions reedit they are demanding accountability, not
studies. they are demanding accountability, not data collection. we have to ask ourselves will we stand for a bill with zero accountability or will we rise? i'm so frustrated because i've been here now for six years and i've seen from inside his body as the number two even before i came here how the leader has done bipartisan efforts. i saw it on immigration reform. a gang of eight was formed, discussions were had and they came to a bill read a put it on the floorand voted for it . i've seen it in this covid crisis, people met and worked on solutions i've seen it time and again how when there is a sincere desire to come
to a bipartisan consensus how it works. but this is not how leader mcconnell is acting now . where is the good faith? where is the yearning for justice? where is the desire to get something real done ? there have been no hearings. he has called for no discussions. he has calledfor no meaningful engagement . and the way we have done in the past from stakeholders and groups that have been working onthis issue . he has not sent it to the appropriatecommittee of jurisdiction . this is not what the american people want. this is not what this moment calls for. this is shameful. this is a desire to turn the page.
two point finger of blame. and to lead the call for justice in this country. calling upon the mutineers. the deaf ears of a body that should be hearing, listening and responding. there's no easy fix for the problems we face . but they do demand work. they don't demand simple monologues. a demand real dialogue. this is not the time to retreat into our corners. it's a time to engage each other . i cannot in any way any justice or sanction to what is going on in this body now. we will be back here again.
we will see more video capturing the dark corners of our country must be brought into the light. and salt the spirit of this nation. i joined chuck schumer and miss harris in urging majority leader mcconnell not to proceed in this way it's not progress. it is an attempt to turn a page on the history that we will have to revisit . every minute, every hour, every day we do not act, black lives are in danger. our fellow citizens are in danger area we as a nation are principles and ideals are
in danger. it is time that we come together and provide hope from this body that serves, truly serves to honor what the public heis calling for. which is action. not retreat. but for us to try and this body to rise together. ideal to my colleagues in california. >> adam president editor from california. >> adam president the murders of george floyd, breonna taylor, rayshard brooks are
the latest in a history of long violence against black people in america but thanks to the advocacy and courage of their mothers and fathers and relatives and all of the civil rights leaders, the lawyers, those marching in the streets and smart phones, everyone can finally bear witness to the violence that has been happening in eour country and the police. it found that the clear, this behavior is not new. mothers have beencrying over their dead children's bodies for generations . yet no one would listen. no one would listen. and it tells mother had the courage as a leader to say the world will listen when they look at my babies body in that casket. and yet here we are, these many decades and generations later and still we have not
seen meaningful change in america on this subject. it is time we act. it is time we act and let us be clear, sometimes some of the most important work that has happened in this united states congress has happened not because there was leadership in the body but because the people demanded it and they would not relent until their government and elected leaders and representatives listened to and answered their call. steps towards what we call a more perfect union . it has been many a time the case that it is because of the people marching in the streets that we had the voting rights act and the civil rights act and the fair housing act. because the people would allow nothing less then that we as a government be true to our stated ideals.
and yes, over the last 3 and a half years in our country, many of us have wondered whether the leaders of this country actually pay homage to and have any desire to institute and get closerto those ideals . this is a moment for the united states senate to say we as a body will do that. that's what is clear right now in this moment in this movement is that there is still work that can be done, not just should be done but can be done. to come closer to those words inscribed across the street in the united statessupreme court , to effect equal justice under law. it is within our grasp to do this, not just an imperative, itis within our grasp .
and while in america today people of every state, all 50 states, every walk of life are demanding we take the problem of police brutality seriously. we have this opportunity and we should see it as such area where before there may have been reluctance to go against the strength of the status quo sis always reluctant if not hostile to change. the people in the streets of every race, every gender, every age from every state are not only giving us permission but demanding that their leaders finally make good on the american promise of equal justice under thelaw .
and they are demanding this change. they're not justasking for it . and so we can't answer the people's demands for accountability with watered-down politics area and watered-down policies. and an obstructionist tactic to distract us from what we clearly know is necessary eto meet the cause and cries of this moment and this movement area and so i will say we cannot answer their demands with his republican attempt to obstruct real progress and real justice in ourcountry . and for all of the pundits out there that want to entertain a conversation about whether democrats actually want police reform, are you kidding me? are you kidding me?
we are responding to the cries in the street. we are taking them seriously. and quite going to leave this out and go live to remarks from senators following their weekly party caucus meeting. you're watching c-span2. >> tim scott has worked overtime to produce a good bill . it may be the first step, maybe the second but it is an important bill and we can't get to it cause we can't get to the motion to proceed. delay after delay after delay . and some statements i just heard about from my friends across the aisle or some have indicated that they just can't trust mitch mcconnell. they don't have to trust him. he is the republican leader but this issue is whether we moved to this bill to get something done and alleviate just ahigh-pressure problem
facing every american . i think it is a dereliction of duty on the part of the other sideand i don't say stuff like this . i worked with my colleagues on the agriculture committee and we produce work in a bipartisan way you i'm not sure we're going to be doing anything from now on. if we can'teven get to a motion to proceed . this is really bad stuff that we're seeing here today.>>. [inaudible]
>>. [inaudible] >> good afternoon everyone. two things we will confirm shortly tomorrow, are 200 and judge and let me turn to the cloture on the motion to proceed to the scott bill. i hope none of you are falling for this nonsense that somehow our democratic colleagues would be disadvantaged by getting on the bill. i read that several of them said we don't trust mitch mcconnell. they don'thave to trust me .
because the way the process works is quite simple and i hope you won't fall for that nonsense . once you get onthe bill , if you conclude you've been treated unfairly, you don't have to get off the bill area it takes 60 votes to pass the bill like this in the senate. so they don't have to trust me when i say i want an open amendment process . i mean it but if they don't feel like they had a fair treatment, their remedy is to refuse to finish thebill . so there's literally no harm done by debating this important topic. one of our colleagues senator tim scott has spent an enormous amount of time on this . he has personally experienced the kind of treatment that produced an interest in addressing this issue at the federal level.
and so i want to call on senator scott to give you his thoughts about the bill and where we are. >> thank you leader and there's no doubt in our earliest conversations about the process that should be undertaken to address the serious issues confronting so many communities of color fraught with so many individuals within the community, i thought the most important, most effective way for us to do so is to have an open process. i thank you mitch for having an open process that allows for us to engage in real debate, real conversation, amendments to legislation so if your objective is to solve the issue of police reform and not campaign on the issue of police reform, the way you do that is by coming to the table and voting yes for the motion to proceed though we have an opportunity for the entire american public to understand what the differences are, iron them
out and move forward. if this is more about campaign rhetoric and presidential election that they will not vote yes to it but this is not about them or us this is about those youngsters who today are afraid to jog down the street or get in their car and drive for the single mom was waiting at home for her son to get home about those folks , then we debate this bill and we do now if it's about the people who have worked hard to jobs at times for long hours who are concerned about their family members that in their safety, we debate this bill now. if it's moreimportant for us to score political points , and talk about the legislation and what's missing and not actually come to the table to improve the legislation , that means we're only talking about politics and where not actually talking about human beings who are losing
confidence in the institutions of authority and power because we keep pretending like this is about washington dc. this is about louisville kentucky. this is about north charleston, this is about minneapolis . art legislation covers those points. if our friends on the other side wants to figure out a path forward for those places and those citizens, let's get there. we canstart that tomorrow . this is does not finish until theysay it's over but if they won't even started , that tells me that this is already over. >> i want to thank personally tim scott for an enormous amount, investment of time and energy in the subject and obviously it's something that he's put a lot ofbipartisan work into . speak from personal experience which i think
lends tremendous credibility to this effort. i can assure you this is not a messaging exercise for him. and it's not a messaging exercise for senate republicans . we want to make a law, we want to make something that creates positive change for this country on an issue that has plagued us and frustrated us and angered us for way too long . so i would hope that the democrats in the senate would come to the conclusion that it's in their best interest and american people's best interest to get a solution, to solve this problem. we have a piece of legislation and put together with a lot of labor, a lot of input and its teed up and ready to go and as leader mcconnell pointed out, it takes 60 votes to get on a bill and it takes 50 votes to get off a bill. democrats have plenty of protections if they don't like the final outcome of the final product and even how
the house of representatives, nancy pelosi say we want to get in the conference with the senate . they actually want to make a law as well. the only thing blocking this right now is the senate democrats and the senate democrats are just blocking tim scott will. they are blocking it open bipartisan debate about policing reform in this country area is an opportunity that we shouldn't miss and tomorrow there is a big goal, it's a consequential vote and the democrats are going to let us know i think in pretty clear terms whether they are interested in working with us to actually get a solution, a meaningful solution to this challenging problem we have or whether they want to use this opportunity for nothing more than to score political points. i hope it's the former. i hope we can get on this legislation and have this debate and i hope we can have an open amendment process and the voices of the american people can be heard and that we can get a result that
would move us in apositive direction as a country . >> i want to thank tim scott for his continued leadership to this conference and specifically with this issue. yet we see the democrats in the senate standing in the way of progress. of passing a law. democrats blocking legislation that is significant, straightforward . >> the u.s. senate about to gavel back in. we take you to the senate floor live on c-span2