This Wednesday, the US House passed H.R.1. This is the government’s sweeping election and police reforms bill. It is also an important legal reform for the Democrat-controlled House. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act too was passed the same day. They had scheduled it for Thursday. But they had to move it up due to a security scare.
House Passes the Sweeping Police And Election Reforms
Two sources of the House said to a news channel that they had discussed the security threat and their plans to move up the vote.
The capital police had told lawmakers that they had concerning intelligence inputs for March 4th. The concerns for the safety of lawmakers had come up after a mob appeared on 6th January to overturn the presidential election. They even wanted to assassinate lawmakers.
The House Leader released the update. It had information on voting on the George Floyd bill on Wednesday night instead of Thursday. This helped the House to expedite its work and avoid a session on Thursday.
The House passed the H.R. 1 bill with a majority of 10 votes. No Republican voted in favor of the bill. This does not come as a surprise. Most of them were against it. According to them, the law amounted to overreaching of the federal government. It is also an attack against democracy.
According to a politician, the bill is immensely popular in the US. People want to eliminate the role of big vested interests in politics. This, in fact, is the thing that stops many great things from happening in the country. They want to see an end to the suppression of voters.
The George Floyd bill was passed with a majority of eight votes. The bill is named in honor of the man who got killed when a policeman kneeled on him for some time. The incident had given rise to numerous protests all over the country against racial justice and the brutality of the police.
Two Democrats voted in favor of the bill. A Republican voted for it and tweeted later that he did it by mistake. The law will ban chokeholds and will introduce sweeping changes with regard to qualifying immunity protection for law-enforcement agencies. A Republican had passed a police reforms bill last year. But Democrats blocked it. According to them, it did not do enough. The previous bill was almost similar to this one. But it differs in addressing the immunity given to enforcement personnel. After the vote, one lawyer tweeted that he is grateful towards the country’s leadership to introduce this reform. This eliminates the concerns with regard to the relationship between the police and the black community.
The two bills were already passed in the House when the Democrats won back its majority there. But the senate which the Republicans controlled did not take them for consideration. At present, Democrats have a narrow majority in the Senate. But for a legislation to move forward, it needs 60 votes. Ten senators are not likely to support the bill. And the possibility of their passing is quite dim.
The H.R.1 bill is also known as For the People Act. This seeks to reform the ethics of government campaign finance laws. It also tries to ensure the right of voting by enabling automatic voter registration.
The voting comes in such a phase that the Democrat-controlled States are looking for ways to restrict the right of voting. They also propose more stringent voter-identification conditions.
According to a lawmaker, the H.R.1 bill has to be passed. The Republicans are anxious about their losses both in the States and in the country. They are striving to make it difficult for the public to vote.
The Supreme Court, in the meantime, has a 6-3 conservative majority. And it is considering two such laws in the State of Arizona.