Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sparked backlash after saying that Senate Republicans are “trying to get away with murder…the murder of George Floyd,”
USAToday reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday that Senate Republicans are “trying to get away with murder” with their policing bill.
Specifically, Pelosi, during a interview with CBS News Radio, said the GOP’s legislation does not include a federal and definitive ban on chokeholds as many activists have demanded, but rather says the police tactic should be used only if lives are in danger.
“We’re saying no chokeholds,” Pelosi said, talking about the Democrat’s legislation. “They’re not saying no chokeholds. I mean, there’s a big difference there. What’s the compromise? Some chokeholds? I don’t see what the compromise is.”
The Republican’s bill, led by Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina – the chamber’s lone Black Republican – includes measures aimed at increasing transparency at police agencies and around use-of-force incidents while incentivizing departments to use body cameras and discouraging chokeholds by withholding federal grant money.
Pelosi echoed many congressional Democrats, who been are reportedly planning to block the GOP’s bill.
“For something to happen,” she said, “they’re going to have to face the reality of police brutality, the reality of the need for justice in policing, and the recognition that there are many, many good people in law enforcement, but not all and that we have to address those concerns.
“So far they’re trying to get away with murder, actually. The murder of George Floyd,” she said.
Her comments met with swift backlash from Republicans, who called for her to apologize, specifically to Scott, though she didn’t name him by name.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., tweeted that the comments were “absolutely disgusting” and that Scott “is an incredibly effective policymaker and leader on racial justice and policing reform. America is blessed to have him in the United States Senate.”
Pelosi “should immediately apologize for this hateful statement,” Stefanik continued.
Matt Whitlock, senior adviser to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the comments were “absolutely outrageous. If a Republican said something like that every other Republican would be asked if they were comfortable with that characterization.”
Ken Farnaso, the deputy press secretary for the Trump campaign, called for Pelosi to “say it to @SenatorTimmScott’s face.” Farnaso used to work as press secretary for Scott.