Rep. Clyburn urges fellow Dems to find compromise solutions on police reform

The Democratic Party for the past several years has consistently coddled and sided with the element of its base that holds clear antipathy for law enforcement and wants to defund the police, which has prevented them from working with Republicans to find bipartisan solutions for necessary policing reforms.

Now a senior statesman of the Democratic Party, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), is calling upon his fellow Democrats to relax their strident anti-cop demands and try to find areas of agreement on the issue with their GOP counterparts, the Daily Caller reported.

Clyburn specifically highlighted the proposed police reforms of Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), which Democrats flatly rejected in years past, as a good starting point in the search for compromise legislation.

“We need to get this done”

In an interview this week with The Washington Post, Rep. Clyburn was asked about the issue of police reform legislation in the wake of the recent beating death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of several now-former Memphis police officers.

“We came pretty close to getting the George Floyd [Justice in Policing] Act [passed in 2021],” the South Carolina congressman replied. “I said at the time — I got in trouble for saying it — there’s no perfect bill. There’s no perfect bill. To keep trying to get the perfect piece of legislation rather than a good piece of legislation — I just don’t know if that’s a good thing to do.”

He noted how it took several years throughout the 1960s to pass various pieces of legislation to protect certain civil rights and said, “So I just think that we have got to make some progress. We may not get everything that we need or everything that we want in one fell swoop, but we need to get this done.”

Asked about the possibility of Sen. Scott and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) resuming negotiations on a police reform compromise bill, Clyburn told The Post, “The chances are fair to good. I talked with Tim Scott two days ago. I’ve talked with Booker. I think the chances are good that we’ll get something done. Will it go as far as I would like to see it go? I don’t know that it will.”

Prior efforts at reform stymied

As Rep. Clyburn alluded to, Sen. Scott has been focused on the issue of police reform for several years, and in 2020 put forward the JUSTICE Act that contained many of the reforms sought by the left — only to then watch as Senate Democrats filibustered and killed his bill.

That slap in the face was then compounded in 2021 when House Democrats resurrected much of Scott’s initial proposals in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which prompted Scott to quip in a Senate floor speech, “The actual problem is not what is being offered; it is who is offering it.”

Despite the Floyd bill containing many of the reforms Scott had initially proposed, it garnered very little Republican support in large part because Democrats had added in provisions that would effectively defund many local police departments across the country, as the senator explained in a September 2021 interview with CBS News.

Scott ready to find “common ground solutions”

Sen. Scott appears ready to try and negotiate again on a compromise police reform bill, but he made it clear this week in a thread of tweets that “Resurrecting the House progressives’ police reform bill is a nonstarter.”

“I’ve been working toward common ground solutions that actually have a shot at passing,” he continued. “Solutions to increase funding and training to make sure only the best wear the badge. Solutions that would have made a difference in places like Memphis & Kenosha.”

“Here’s the truth: We can get something meaningful done. We can pass a bill that the majority of Congress — and the majority of Americans — would agree on,” Scott wrote.

He concluded, “The question we have to ask ourselves is, do we care more about tribalism, posturing, and preserving the status quo? Or do we care about actually doing our jobs and restoring faith in our nation? Put me down for the latter.”

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