WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ House Republicans say they’re disappointed with their Democratic colleagues for introducing a police reform bill with zero Republican input.
Rep. Tom Reed, R-New York, says Democrats missed an opportunity to reach across the aisle when they introduced the “Justice In Policing Act.”
“People are demanding us to get together,” Reed said. “I wish Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi had not done what she did with this bill.”
Reed says Republicans had no input into the legislation and that Republicans just won’t support some of the provisions in the bill, like making it easier for citizens to sue police officers.
“Removing that type of protection, where the officers have to have the confidence that when they make those life and death decisions, that to me is too far of a slope,” Reed said.
Reed says he’s uncertain if the bill will pass in the House as is because of a provision that he says would encourage local governments to gut their police departments.
“They remove funding and control police departments, not by rewarding their behavior but by penalizing their behavior and that’s an easy way to defund the police,” Reed said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, says Democrats support police departments, “but there are many things we call on our police departments to deal with – mental health issues, policing in schools and the rest – that we could re-balance some of our funding to address some of those issues more directly.”
Reed says he hopes Pelosi will address their concerns.
“My hope is Nancy Pelosi will look to compromise, look to back off that proposal, sit down with us,” Reed said.
Both Democrats and Republicans seem to agree the moment demands historic change, but Reed says it remains to be seen if the parties can find common ground.