“Squad” Revolt Derails Democrats’ Deal on Policing Bills

House Democrats on Thursday were forced to delay a vote on four policing bills over a revolt from members of the “Squad,” The Hill reports.

House Democrats on Wednesday reached a deal on a long-negotiated package of policing and public safety bills after winning the support of the Congressional Black Caucus by shrinking the scope of certain legislation.

One bill, sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, would provide federal grants to local law enforcement agencies with fewer than 125 officers.

Another bill provides grants focused on community violence.

A third bill promotes the use of mental health workers in responding to certain 911 calls.

The final bill funds technology to help investigators crack unsolved cases.

The CBC and Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal signed off on the deal.

Squad revolt:

Democrats were scheduled to vote on the package on Thursday but went into recess instead.

Rep. Cori Bush, one of the Squad members, announced her opposition to the deal.

“Even the most barebones accountability measures like those included in the House-passed Justice in Policing Act were not incorporated into the Rep. Gottheimer bill, which would add nearly a quarter billion dollars in police funding over the next 5 years without addressing the crisis of police brutality — and this despite the strong and continued urging from civil rights and racial justice advocacy leaders to chart a more humane path,” Bush’s spokesperson said.

Squad split:

Another Squad member, Ilhan Omar, the vice-chair of the Progressive Caucus, endorsed the bill on Wednesday.

But fellow member Jamaal Bowman said he has concerns about accountability measures in the package.

“Those conversations have to be brought to the table as we talk about policing in this country,” he said. “Why are we pushing this bill forward without a committee markup? Without the accountability pieces? And why are we lumping it in with the other three, that are actually true public safety bills?”


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