House passes Dems’ sweeping police-reform bill 1 day after Senate GOP bill stalls

The House approved a wide-ranging police-reform bill Thursday night, by a vote of 236-181, sending it to the Senate, one day after Democrats stalled a GOP-backed bill there.

All 233 Democrats voted in favor of the House bill, along with three Republicans: Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, Will Hurd of Texas and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

The bill, titled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, came amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S.

Senate Democrats blocked a more modest version of a police reform bill Wednesday, with 55 to 45 votes in favor of the legislation – the bill needed 60 votes to move forward.

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Angus King, I-Maine, joined Republican senators in voting to pass the GOP-backed bill.

Senate procedure allowed Democrats to stall all debates prior to voting on the bill and were able to successfully block the legislation – with Senate Democrats anticipating the House bill potentially would take its place.

Top House Democrats have been hopeful the demand over police reform and weeks of demonstrations will force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to review their bill in earnest.

The legislation was named in honor of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, and prompted weeks of nationwide protests demanding reform.

“Today we have the opportunity and the obligation to ensure that his death and the death of so many others is not in vain,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a news conference prior to the House debate and vote on the bill.

The House bill put forward by Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass, D-Calif., included reforms such as banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug cases, along with making it easier to pursue claims against police officers in court.

The House and Senate will need to sync up on legislation before it can head to President Trump’s desk for his possible signature.

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