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House Republicans working on policing overhaul see areas of agreement with Dems

McCarthy outlines GOP proposal focusing on three pillars: performance, transparency and accountability

House Republicans are in the process of crafting policing legislation that focuses on three pillars: performance, transparency and accountability, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday.

Part of the effort will be led by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, including ranking member Jim Jordan and others who met Thursday with Sen. Tim Scott, the South Carolina Republican who is leading the charge on law enforcement legislation in his chamber.

“We agree on a lot of things … moving in the right direction,” Scott told reporters after the meeting.

Scott also said the text of the Senate GOP policing bill is being finalized tonight and tomorrow and should be ready for release Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

“We’ve had a couple of additions to some of the things that we’re going to add to the bill, so we’ll have a text back on the current draft tonight, latest tomorrow, with all the corrections in it,” Scott added.

Since George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer in May, public outcry for law enforcement overhauls have forced Congress to grapple with the issue.

At his weekly news conference, McCarthy outlined what a GOP proposal could look like. The California Republican called for increased training in law enforcement, a data collection program at the Justice Department on use of force by and against police, and establishing databases focusing on problematic officers.

“Work with the law enforcement community to create databases to prevent bad cops from being rehired in other jurisdictions who are not aware of their past,” McCarthy said.

House Democrats rolled out an expansive bill on Monday they are calling the Justice in Policing Act that includes a national police misconduct registry maintained by the Justice Department, a section in which Republicans could work with them.

“In the Democrat bill, conceptually there are things that would be similar that we could address, that I think we can work together on,” McCarthy said, adding he has reached out to many Democrats.

“I’m hopeful when we get to a markup, we could be in a place that it’s not one bill or nothing. That it’s the ideas of all,” he said. The Judiciary Committee is planning to mark up the Democrats’ measure next week.

The Democratic bill bans chokeholds and carotid holds, a Democratic offering that McCarthy said he agrees with. The GOP leader didn’t mention any specifics in the Democrats’ bill that he disagrees with.

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