Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins issued this statement following the Senate’s failure to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the JUSTICE Act.
“It is truly stunning that the Democratic leader blocked even beginning debate on police reform legislation. The killing of George Floyd laid bare longstanding racial injustices in this country. Now is the time for action.
“If we are sincere about making progress, today’s vote to simply agree to begin debating this wide-ranging police reform bill should have been unanimous. The JUSTICE Act, authored by Senator Tim Scott, would increase accountability, improve training, promote diversity in law enforcement, and penalize police departments that do not ban chokeholds. The bill contains a number of other proposals that have broad, bipartisan support, including provisions I co-sponsored making lynching a federal crime and establishing two commissions that would offer solutions to challenges facing black men and boys and the criminal justice system as a whole.
“Today’s vote was not about passing a final bill. It was a vote to allow Democrats and Republicans alike to begin discussing, debating, and amending a proposal that will bring needed reforms to lessen racial injustices and to reform practices in police departments. The Senate should not squander this historic opportunity to make a difference for communities of color.”