Senate Democrats blocked Wednesday the passage of a police reform bill led by Senator Tim Scott, R-SC, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had a few things to say about the move to the opposing party before the Senate on Thursday. In his remarks, McConnell singled out Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, for ignoring Scott while “trashing” the bill he worked tirelessly to amend for the Democrats’ requests.
“I could not help but notice that in the Democratic Leader’s lengthy remarks yesterday morning, he did not once address or acknowledge the junior Senator for South Carolina as the author of the JUSTICE Act,” McConnell said. “Not one time did the Democratic Leader address Senator Tim Scott as the author of the legislation he was trashing.”
“I cannot see why the Democratic Leader talks right past Senator Scott as if he were not leading this discussion, as if he were barely here. All I can say is that it was jarring to witness, especially in a national moment like this.”
McConnell added that Scott had been working diligently to push police reform bills for years, saying “Senator Scott led the working group. He wrote the bill. He has been studying, and working on, and living these issues since long before the Democratic Leader came rushing to the microphones on this subject a few weeks ago.
“I can certainly take all the angry comments my colleague from New York wants to throw my way. I don’t mind,” he said. “But if he’d like to learn something about the substance of this issue, he might want to stop acting like Senator Scott hardly exists and learn from the expert who wrote the bill.”
Ahead of today’s vote, I offered to include an amendment for every concern that was presented. They didn’t stick around for that meeting. This vote is an opportunity to say yes to those folks who are waiting for leadership to stand and be counted. #JUSTICEAct pic.twitter.com/N56EwrSx0V
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) June 24, 2020
Sen. Scott recognized the issues Senate Democrats had with the bill and later offered an amendment to include every one of their concerns. “We received a letter from Senator Schumer, saying there were five things about the Justice Act that did not meet their principles. My response was a simple one, let’s have five amendments on those things,” Scott said Wednesday.
Further, Scott said he met with a number of Democratic Senators who said there were additional issues outside of the five presented by Sen. Schumer. “So, I said, let’s include an amendment for every single issue you have. They did not stick around for that meeting,” he added.
“I respect people that I disagree with, they have the right to disagree. My pastor tells me I have the right to be wrong, which means I’m not right all the time. But, on this one, if you don’t think we’re right, make it better, don’t walk away, vote for the motion to proceed so that we have an opportunity to deal with this very real threat to the America that is civil, that is balanced, this is an opportunity to say yes, not to us, to those folks who are waiting for leadership to stand and be counted.”