• House Democrats scored a narrow legislative victory on police reform ahead of the 2022 midterms

House Democrats on Thursday approved a package of new police reform bills that would fund recruiting and training for police departments across the country and include new language for police accountability.

The procedural vote on the bills narrowly passed 216 to 215, after a group of progressive Democrats opposed providing more funding to police departments.

Bills including the Mental Health Justice Act of 2022, the Investment to Protect Act of 2022, the Breaking the Cycle of Violence Act and the Victims Act of 2022, would provide millions of dollars to law enforcement with accountability measures attached.

The bills, which garnered bipartisan support, are largely political messages, as the measures are unlikely to garner enough Republican support in the Senate to pass.

The bill establishing the small apartment grant program would allow the money to be used for better training, body cameras and access to mental health services.

Two of the bills would provide federal grants to help law enforcement increase their crime resolution rates and improve investigative resources for shootings and other violent crimes.

The fourth bill would provide grants to states and tribal organizations to send non-police first responders who can better handle civilians experiencing mental health crises.

As the large-scale protests against police abuse that occurred in 2020 subsided, so did the momentum for police reform in Congress. George Floyd’s sweeping Justice in Policing Act, which contained several dramatic police reforms to prevent police abuse, such as restrictions on chokeholds, has stalled in Congress since earlier this year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement: “House Democrats believe that all Americans deserve to live in a safe community, where they and their families can thrive. This public safety package is the latest manifestation of our majority’s commitment to putting people above politics, building safer communities for all, and honoring our oath to protect and defend.”

Republicans have sought to portray Democrats as tolerant of crime and hell-bent on defunding the police, a proposal many progressive Democrats embraced amid a series of high-profile cases of excessive violence by law enforcement. particularly against minorities.

Those Republican criticisms have increased as the election approaches and the party has sought other ways to tarnish Democrats with voters, criticizing the immigration system as dysfunctional and emphasizing the continuing cost of inflation.

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