WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans unveiled a law enforcement reform bill on Wednesday as a rival to more sweeping Democratic legislation, as Congress sought to curb racial discrimination and police abuses three weeks after the death of George Floyd.
It takes a less aggressive approach than rival legislation backed by Democrats in the House of Representatives, which mandates legal and policy changes to rein in police misconduct.
Unlike the Democratic plan, Scott’s bill would not allow victims of misconduct to sue police, ban police chokeholds outright or create new rules to restrict the use of lethal force.
Democrats say the Republican plan does not go far enough, while Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Democratic legislation would go nowhere in his chamber, dismissing it as “typical Democratic overreach.”
It is unclear whether Democrats in the Senate will oppose the measure or try to change it. “This bill will need dramatic improvement,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.
Republican President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an order that would steer federal money to police departments that agree to outside review and limit chokeholds. Top Democrats and many civil-rights groups said it was inadequate.