Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., on Sunday blamed Democrats for the lack of a bipartisan police reform plan, citing their refusal to budge on defunding police demands.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Scott lamented the roadblock in the face of agreement on a range of other issues.
“We found common ground on military equipment, we found common ground on chokeholds, we found common ground on providing PTSD assistance and mental health,” he said. “We found common ground on a number of areas.”
But Scott said instead of “moving forward on the areas where we were in agreement,” Democrats “simply walked away.”
“We said simply this: 'I'm not going to participate in reducing funding for the police after we saw major city after major city defund the police,’ ” Scott recounted.
“Many provisions in this bill that [Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J.] wanted me to agree to limited or reduced funding for the police. That's a lose-lose proposition. When you reduce funding for police, you actually lose lives in the communities.”
“Our approach was a win-win approach,” he continued. “We want the best wearing the badge and we want the vulnerable protected. So when you tie funding losses in this legislation, you should expect an allergic reaction from me.”
According to Scott, there were good proposals from Democrats, including “more reporting on serious bodily injury to death.”
“When they wanted to nationalize local policing, I said, that's a bad idea. When they say that every single traffic stop in this country must be reported to the federal government…I say, let's do it, but let's do it voluntarily,” he said.
Scott pushed back on the suggestion Republicans only want to look tough on crime ahead of midterms.
“Of course not — that's the answer to the question. No,” he said.
“Why would I be at a table?” he continued. “I’m the person who has lived in the communities that we're talking about. I'm the person who has experienced the challenges that we are trying to solve. I'm the person who understands and appreciates this issue intimately. If you want to keep our community safe, you have to properly fund the police.”
Scott also said President Joe Biden “owns” the crisis that has plagued the southern border.
“President Biden and his administration owns a crisis that they've created at the border, the humanitarian crisis that's unfolding before every eye in the American public,” he declared.
“The treatment obviously is different [than Trump administration policies],” he added. “That's why his people have resigned from their post. It's the responsibility of the president to secure our borders. President Biden has not done so. The crisis of his own making looks very similar to the one that he made in Afghanistan, the one we're experiencing right now with taxing, the one we're experiencing with spending. So yes, this president should do a much better job of avoiding crises that are avoidable.”
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