House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., took Democrats to task Thursday for blocking the Senate Republican police reform bill a day earlier, calling their treatment of Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., “appalling.”
“You know what Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, and doubled down [on], that Tim Scott and the Republicans were supporting murder,” McCarthy said on “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.” “She says this to Tim Scott, who didn’t start working on this bill a month ago after the death of George Floyd. He’s worked it his entire life. Tim Scott’s legislative achievements [are] opportunity zones, criminal justice reform, funding of black colleges.”
Pelosi asserted in an interview Tuesday that Republicans are “trying to get away with murder, actually — the murder of George Floyd” using the reform bill introduced by Scott.
Scott himself ripped Democrats Wednesday after his bill failed to receive the 60 votes required to open debate, accusing them of punting on the issue until after the election and abusing what he described as their “monopoly” on black voters.
McCarthy also blasted Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who used the word “token” to describe the bill authored by Scott, the lone African-American GOP senator. Durbin later apologized.
“What’s most frustrating to me is watching the speaker of the House call Tim Scott, in essence, his bill as murder,” Scott said. “And the number two individual in the Democrat Senate side said it was ‘a token.’ That’s what they said to a man who rose above it all and sits in the U.S. Senate.”
McCarthy then recalled Scott telling him a story saying he had been stopped from entering the Senate because security didn’t believe he was a senator. According to McCarthy, Scott said he showed a guard his Senate pin, only to be asked who he had taken it from.
“That’s the passion that Tim Scott has to do something about this to unite this nation,” McCarthy said. “And the only people who are denying this is [Sen. Chuck] Schumer and Pelosi. It’s appalling.”
McCarthy also criticized Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., for voting to block debate on Scott’s bill.
“Why wouldn’t she vote to go forward, knowing what has gone on and knowing you need police reform and knowing you’re going to get 20 amendments?” McCarthy said. “No, she’s making a decision that she wants … to try to be a vice president instead of … represent the people [to whom] she swore that she would uphold the Constitution for. That’s appalling to me.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Gregg Re contributed to this report.