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Congressman Mitchell Statement on Partisan Policing Bill

June 25, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul Mitchell (MI-10) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 7210, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

 

“Since the unjust killing of George Floyd, our country has seen demonstrations and protests nationwide demanding Congress act to address instances of racial profiling and excessive force by law enforcement. This time presents an opportunity to make positive and overdue improvements to how we approach policing in this country, but unfortunately instead of seizing the moment to pass bipartisan police reform that creates real, lasting change my Democratic colleagues chose to bring a bill to the floor that was developed by one side of the aisle rather than as part of a collaborative effort.

 

It is disappointing that, yet again, Congress has fallen into our respective partisan camps. The American people are rightfully asking us for change, yet politics and party messaging has taken precedence over concrete reforms. I have made it clear that I support sensible police reforms that focus on fostering positive relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, and it is my hope that we can still find a will and a way to work together in developing bipartisan police reform legislation that can actually become law.”

 

Congressman Mitchell previously released a video on his thoughts about police reform, which you can view here.

Congressman Mitchell spoke on the floor during debate of H.R. 7210. To view his remarks, click here.

 

Remarks as prepared:

I rise today disappointed and frustrated – with this legislation and the dysfunction of this legislative body.

Police work is a vital, thankless, and often dangerous job – my own son is a police officer and we talk about these issues often – and clear, meaningful change is needed – NOW.

All across our country, our constituents, our neighbors, and for me members of my own family are looking to us to lead – to COME TOGETHER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. We see the daily demonstrations in cities and small towns rightfully demanding we act.

Yet yesterday in the Senate constructive legislation developed by Senator Scott was blocked by Democrats – despite a commitment to full floor debate and amendments. 

In the House I have actively reached out for substantive discussion on this bill to many in the Majority – to offer input and support – to no avail.  Instead we will vote on this Democrat developed bill without the ability to even consider amendments.  

Senator Scott was correct in his speech yesterday – this debate has devolved to become not about what action we take but about “who” can claim the action.  My colleagues in the other party are so focused upon election messaging they neglect some things:

  • We have needed to address these issues for decades – across multiple administrations and even when Democrats were President and Congress had different Majorities.
  • This issue will not go away.
  • Lacking action this issue will become more heated and divisive in our communities. 

We must get something done.

What do you say we ALL simply focus on our current task rather than the coming election?

 

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