The partisan battle over police reform hits a critical juncture on Wednesday, when House Democrats will tee up their sweeping reform package for a floor vote and Senate Republicans unveil a similar but likely less far-reaching alternative.
Both parties are facing heavy pressure to revamp the nation’s law enforcement culture after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody last month. And the competing proposals are each designed to assuage the historic public outcry that’s followed, as marchers have taken to the streets in cities across the country to demand an end to racial profiling and police brutality.
While the goals are the same, however, the partisan approaches are not. And to reach an agreement, the sides have plenty of work to do under the glaring spotlight of public scrutiny and the reluctant gaze of a president who’s been wary to police the police.
As a result, the political effects of the coming debate may reverberate well beyond the summer, with voters seeming increasingly likely to make racial justice a major issue at the polls in November.