Two Democrat-sponsored bills on gun safety and police funding will not gain enough compromise within the party to come to a vote this week in the House. House Democrats are back in session this week to vote and pass the Inflation Reduction Act. With congressional members back on the debate floor, Democrats had an opportunity to pass gun and policing bills, but those bills will take a back seat after talks stalled without agreement.
The two bills in question focused on police funding and gun safety, reportedly including a measure to ban assault weapons. House Democrats could not agree on whether to fund police departments, following public pressure to defund police. Republicans have strongly attacked Democrats for their stance on law enforcement. Moderate Democrats argued the passing of the bills is needed to sway moderate voters to their side come the midterm election.
Progressive Democrats said they will not support police funding without other stipulations, including more disciplinary actions spelled out in the bill. The congressional Black caucus has said the lack of accountability language in the bills concerns them. They are seeking provisions that would spell out how police departments handle accusations of misconduct or improper behavior by officers.
“We have communicated to all of leadership exactly where we are,” Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said. “We communicated it last week that there simply wasn’t the votes. It would be a very, very divisive thing to do. We need to be disciplined as Democrats and not step on our success, not snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. Let’s focus on this massive victory for the American people this week.”
Even if House Democrats could come to an agreement on police funding, the two bills would likely fail in the Senate immediately. Sixty votes would be needed to break a likely filibuster, and Democrats would struggle to muster that total with a 50-50 split in the Senate.