“This bill will not be signed into law. It was done to make a point, rather than making a difference.”
Congressman Mike Garcia’s (R, CA-25), one of the two newest members of Congress, stated the above quote as part of his remarks after he voted against H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act on Thursday.
The table for the passage of the partisan legislation in the House yesterday was set back on June 8, when both House and Senate Democratic leadership with the Congressional Black Caucus announced H.R. 7120, after doing this hideous display of political correctness.
After Senate Republicans introduced their own Police Reform bill sponsored by Senator Tim Scott (R, SC), the Senate Democrats successfully filibustered the legislation on Wednesday, with two Democrats and one independent joining Republicans coming up four votes short. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted with opposition as a parliamentary move.
So the House bill was brought up on Thursday, and predictably, Congressman Sean Casten and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood voted with the House Democratic leadership on another one of too many partisan votes.
Casten’s floor speech is below via Twitter:
The final vote grid for passage is below:
While Casten did not issue a press release after the vote, Underwood did calling the passage “bipartisan” by virtue of 3 Republicans voting for it:
“Our nation is facing a critical moment.
“Thousands of Illinoisans have taken to the streets, in the middle of a deadly pandemic, to demand our attention. It is Congress’s job to deliver policy solutions that answer this call for change.
“Today, with the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, we take a crucial step forward by addressing serious flaws in our policing system. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues toward a safer and more equitable future.”Congresswoman Lauren Underwood statement 6/25/20
With the Senate Democrats’ filibustering Republican police reform efforts, and the Democrats passing a partisan package, Underwood’s “step” is the only step taken, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) will not consider the House bill as Democrats refuse to negotiate anything.
Republicans’ points were summed up best by Mike Garcia, and his entire Twitter thread is transcribed for ease of reading:
“I just voted NO on the Democrat-led, hyper-partisan bill called ‘George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020.’
“There were several elements in this bill that I support — recognizing we need to eradicate racism in this country, barring chokeholds, making lynching a federal crime; requiring body cams for federal officers, and creating a national database for police misconduct.
“But, because the Democrats did not allow amendments or meaningful discussion and cooperation on this bill, we ended up with a bill that is riddled with poison pills that will ultimately hurt our nation rather than making us better. There were elements in this bill that I could not support as they will lead to less policing, not better policing.
“The removal of qualified immunity and the termination of the DOD surplus program to local police departments will ultimately lead to fewer police, lower-quality police, and more crime.
“As your representative to Congress, I cannot support a bill that ultimately makes us all more vulnerable. We need to remove bad cops and prevent these racist tragedies from happening again.
“Congress needs to work together for bipartisan solutions that will lead to meaningful change. Today’s bill was not that, but rather a political messaging stunt. This bill will not be signed into law. It was done to make a point, rather than making a difference.
“Nancy Pelosi called all Republicans murderers this week and prevented meaningful compromise on this critical discussion. I believe this is conduct unbecoming of someone serving in Congress.
“America deserves better, and you deserve to have your interests represented through productive debate. That is why I believe the House should take up The JUSTICE Act, which I co-sponsored . . . It can and will bring meaningful change and realistic solutions.”Congressman Mike Garcia statement through Twitter, 6/25/20 after House vote
The second to last paragraph alludes to a statement House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) made earlier in the week, which is better explained in this FOX Business interview with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-23):