By Scott McIntyre, AP Senate leaders have quietly dropped an amendment to the bill that would have banned certain types of anti-black racist violence from receiving funding in the next two years.
The change was made in an amended Senate bill passed Tuesday, and is meant to allow the Senate to vote on an amendment next week to ensure the legislation does not pass the House.
The amendment, sponsored by Sen. David Leland (R-Wisc.), is designed to allow senators to use their own discretion to deny funding to states that don’t fully fund police departments.
Leland, a Republican, said he believes the amendment is a reasonable compromise between states and local police departments that want to avoid the federal government being used as a political tool.
The measure passed the Senate, but the House has not yet taken up the measure.
The proposed amendment would prohibit states from funding departments that fail to adopt a program to provide a comprehensive training and education program for their police officers.
It would also require police departments to notify victims and victims’ families if a police officer uses deadly force.
It was originally introduced by Leland’s Senate colleague, Sen. Bob Packwood (R, Ore.).
Packwood voted for the bill in 2015, but after the death of Jamar Clark, a black man who was fatally shot by a Wisconsin state trooper, Packwood said the proposal would not pass.
Packwood also voted against an amendment that would require states to use funds for racial profiling and police accountability, including the use of body cameras.
The Packwood amendment was first reported by the New York Times.
Lacy Clay, an attorney for the Black Lives Matter group, called the change “a blatant attempt to circumvent the will of the voters” and said it would “force cities and counties to adopt policies that would violate the constitution and threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers in this country.”