Dems punt policing package

By | July 27, 2022

House Democrats have abandoned plans to pass an ambitious package of public safety bills, including legislation to ban so-called assault weapons, after days of tumult within their caucus.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team made the decision in a closed-door meeting that included several factions of the caucus that still had concerns with elements of the package. Earlier Wednesday morning, Democrats did not have the votes to pass each piece of the package — leadership can only afford to lose four votes if all Republicans oppose it.

Senior lawmakers will still work to land an agreement on the package this week so that it can be ready when the House returns sometime in August to vote on other measures, according to a Democrat familiar with the negotiations.

The package of bills was intended to satisfy moderates — with measures to invest in local policing — as well as progressives, with the first vote to ban semi-automatic weapons since 1994. But other factions in the caucus, including the Congressional Black Caucus, raised concerns this week about the timing of the policing legislation, with several members demanding more safeguards placed on the grants to law enforcement organizations.