Police reform bill blocked in Senate: What happens next?

National/World

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — South Carolina Senator Tim Scott led the GOP police reform push in the Senate. But Democrats blocked his bill from a vote on Wednesday, so what happens now?

“It just sends such a negative message,” Sen. Scott (R-SC) said.

The Republican senator said blocking his “Justice Act” police reform bill in the Senate hurt the people it was designed to protect.

“You pray to the Lord that nothing bad happens on the streets of America that this bill could have stopped,” he said.

Scott worries the move will bring the push for reform to a standstill.

“We’ll forget about this, we’ll move on, people will forget about it and you know what’s gonna happen? Something bad,” he said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

But Democrats said they aren’t giving up or willing to accept bills that don’t ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

“We think the pressure on Republicans will be large and enormous,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said.

Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC) wants lawmakers to find common ground as the House pushed forward with their own Democratic option Thursday.

“I think people need to take a step back and recognize that there can be improvements made in law enforcement,” Cunningham said.

And Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz wants both sides to keep negotiating.

“There are areas of compromise where we’d like to work together, and I’d like to see us move closer to the good bill that Sen. Scott has drafted in that regard,” Gaetz said.

As for the future of the Justice Act, Scott doesn’t see a clear path forward.

“It’s really not something I can answer because we have put it on the table and opened up a process where we could make it better different or leave it as it is but they still said no.”

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