WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor where she expressed her dismay that Democrats blocked debate on the JUSTICE Act—police reform legislation she co-sponsored and introduced last Wednesday.
THE SENATE FAILED: “If I’m somebody watching this from afar—from Oklahoma or West Virginia or Vermont—I’m thinking to myself, ‘What is all this about 60 votes and cloture and all this?’ They’re not focused on that. All they know is that we failed. This failed. And this was an opportunity that we should have grasped.”
IMPROVING THE POLICE: “We know that every American is entitled to equal protection under the law. We also know there’s a lot of good police officers in this country—many, the vast majority. It’s clear, though, we have a real need to improve our law enforcement so that every American can have confidence that officers are there to serve them equally.”
LETTING DOWN AMERICA: “Had we moved forward, I think we would have ended up with a bipartisan bill that can pass both the House and the Senate and be signed into law. But as of now, you know what we’ve got? Nothing. We have nothing. We have people on the streets of every town in America begging us to do something positive to help the situation. And today? Crickets. Nothing.”
Last Wednesday, Senator Capito joined Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and others for a press conference to announce the introduction of the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act. The legislation provides long-term solutions focused on police reform, accountability and transparency, while also promoting efforts to find solutions to systemic issues affecting people of color such as education and health disparities. Following the introduction, Senator Capito delivered remarks on the Senate floor discussing the legislation and the importance of the issue.
Both the JUSTICE Act and the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, the House Democrats’ bill, make lynching a federal crime, call for increased data collection, more training for law enforcement officials and incentives for law enforcement officers to wear body cameras, and create a national criminal justice commission.
The full text of the JUSTICE Act is here, and a section-by-section analysis is here.
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