Less than three months before the midterm elections, disagreements among House Democrats have hampered progress on public safety legislation. This has caused problems for Democratic leaders and highlighted party divisions.
Liberals who want stronger accountability measures to deter police abuses are at odds with front-line Democrats who are fighting for reelection in November and want to act swiftly to strengthen law enforcement.
When the House temporarily returned to Washington this week to accept significant health, environmental, and tax legislation passed by the Senate on Sunday, Democratic lawmakers had hoped to unify the party around a police and public security package. Key negotiators practically guaranteed a vote this week when they departed town last month.
As Congress prepared to leave Washington on July 29, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), head of the Congressional Black Caucus and a significant participant in the discussions, stated that she had asked for and obtained the assurance that the vote would take place.
That deadline has been extended by progressive MPs’ demands for greater oversight and accountability systems. They seek a better seat at the table and a postponement of the vote on police spending.
(The Hill):#Dem infighting threatens policing package : Lingering disputes between House Democrats have once again threatened action on a series of public safety bills this summer, creating headaches for Democratic leaders while .. https://t.co/wdTw4oKLDy
— NewsOnePlace.com (@newsoneplace) August 9, 2022
On Monday, a progressive insider predicted the Democrats will prioritize rapprochement this week and policing afterwards.
Democratic leaders downplay disputes, keeping the possibility of a vote this week open.
A second prominent Democrat said negotiations are in progress.
The Senate-approved reconciliation bill will be brought to the floor for vote on Friday at a meeting of the House Rules Committee on Wednesday. However, the police package is not included. According to Democratic sources, it won’t be included.
On Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed the policing strategy, arguing that additional federal funding is required to safeguard public safety and accountability, particularly in tiny, underfunded municipalities.
The front-runners will be furious if there is yet another delay because they want to separate themselves from the leftist defund the cops movement that would harm moderates in 2020 and demonstrate their support for law enforcement before the November elections.
Late last month, a proposal to raise police funding and prohibit assault weapons was destroyed by internal discussion over accountability terms, disappointing vulnerable moderates expecting to improve their chances in November.