Two top Republicans think it is unlikely the Senate will move on police reform legislation until after the Senate returns to session following its two week July 4 recess.
Sen. John Cornyn, a member of Senate GOP leadership, said he doesn’t think there would be enough time to consider new police reform legislation on the Senate floor before July 4. He said the Senate will be consumed with the annual defense authorization bill for about two weeks before the July 4 break, which is two weeks along. The Senate is currently considering a public lands bill and will vote on nominations this week.
“So I don’t know whether there will be time” before July 4, Cornyn said. “So it may be a comeback exercise when we return in July.”
The Senate is scheduled to be back in session July 20 before the August recess begins. The House is expected to pass its bill next week.
Sen. Tim Scott’s bill is not expected to be introduced until Wednesday.
Cornyn also said he’s open to a ban on chokeholds but said that most of those decisions are being made at the local level.
“And so I think that’s one of the things that I would be open to but I want to make sure I’m understanding exactly what Congress’ role is relative to the conduct that occurs at the local level,” Cornyn said.
“What I’d like to do is figure out a way to make the people who are actually responsible for supervising police departments more accountable — make more of what’s happening public so that that could be handled at the local level. Because it’s hard for us to do at the national level,” he said.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune said that given “what we have to do and the fact that it’s not ready yet, I’d be surprised” if the policing bill comes to the floor before July 4.
He said that could change if there’s broad enough momentum behind the Scott bill but added that “at this moment” the it will be considered on the floor “probably in the July work period.”