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“We want bipartisanship, but I don’t think the Republican leadership is serious about tackling the major crises in this country,” said Sanders. “If they don’t move forward, we must move forward alone.”
Police reform negotiations have also stalled, and three lawmakers have still not been able to reach an agreement on how or whether the legal liability protection for individual police officers – known as qualified immunity – should be changed to make it easier to bring civil actions against them for misconduct. Disagreement over whether to change this doctrine had doomed attempts to pass a police law last summer amid an outcry for national reform.
Mr Biden had hoped lawmakers would broker a deal before May 25, the anniversary of the death of George Floyd, a black man murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer. Despite continued negotiations between Representative Karen Bass, Democrat of California, Senators Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey and Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina, a breakthrough is difficult to achieve.
“We want to get rid of qualified immunity, and that’s where we start,” Booker said in an interview that aired on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “Obviously you heard the red lines on the other side very publicly. And again, this is one of the big problems that we are working very hard on to see if we can bridge this wide gap. “
The prospects of creating an independent commission to investigate the January 6th Capitol attack have also deteriorated last week as Republican leaders spoke out against the commission to spoil their prospects in the Senate, despite one of its own members being over against Democrats Negotiated details.
The Republican leaders of both chambers, Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky and Representative Kevin McCarthy from California, have spoken out against the creation of such a body. Mr McConnell warned that the Democrats had partisan motives to set up the commission and would try to use it as a beating on Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections.
Several ordinary Republican senators who had publicly considered supporting the commission quickly agreed, adopting the argument that the proposal was not really bipartisan and that the investigation would take too long, underscoring a difficult path for the Democrats to take to reach the 60s. Voting threshold required for the passage of the bill in the equally divided Senate.