Democrats say they are close to defunding police and action ban bills

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House Democrats are scrambling for a few last-minute wins ahead of the midterm elections say they are close to reaching agreements on two elusive issues – a stock trading ban and funding for the police – who would release them to vote on the two points this month.

While the short September session focuses primarily on must-have legislation to keep government going past Oct. 1, a number of vulnerable frontline Democrats are also hoping to push through the other two high-profile bills ahead of the 2019 election. november. .

Although neither the stock ban nor the police legislation has a chance to pass the Senate in this short time, House lawmakers in tough re-election contests want to tout those victories on the campaign trail. election in their districts.

“Both are still very much in play, and we’re kind of working out the final details. I don’t know when they would be brought up, but I know we’re both still talking about it,” Rep. Jim said Monday evening. McGovern (D-Mass.), chairman of the rules committee.

“I know they are getting closer.”

House lawmakers were due to vote on all of the police defunding bills in July, alongside legislation to ban assault weapons. But last-minute opposition from a large group of liberals — many of whom are members of the Congressional Black Caucus — prompted Democratic leaders to pull funding for law enforcement off the schedule while the parties sought a solution.

Proponents of the package hope to use it to bolster their pro-police good faith – and symbolically reject the “defund the police” mantra on the far left of the party. Liberal critics are wary of increasing funding for state and local law enforcement without including new security barriers designed to curb police abuses, which disproportionately affect minority communities.

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has been heavily involved in the talks, as has Rep. Josh Gottheimer (DN.J.), co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, who is pushing hard for get a vote this month.

“We are making very good progress,” Gottheimer said.

Another source familiar with the talks predicted they were far enough along that a vote on the police package could be taken by Thursday.

“It has to go [this month]“, said the source.

Share ban legislation — which would ban lawmakers from owning or buying shares to eliminate conflict-of-interest concerns — is also advancing, according to several people familiar with the discussions.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), chair of the House Administration Committee, is working to finalize a proposal, pulling together elements of several existing bills.

“We are working hard to get the final [agreement]”said Lofgren.

“Getting consensus on something that a lot of people more or less want hasn’t been that easy,” she added, but said “I think we’re very close.”

Meanwhile, the debate over the larger issue of government funding beyond Oct. 1 yielded no major revelations when Congress returned to Washington on Monday.

Party leaders, including President Biden, had promised centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) a vote on legislation to fast-track energy infrastructure projects — a vow that won Manchin’s vote on a much larger health and climate bill that Biden has signed into law. law last month.

With that pledge made, Democratic leaders in both houses are now battling to find a way to include Manchin’s “authorizing reform” provision in the government’s funding bill in a way that can both win support of the GOP in the Senate – where 60 votes are needed to elude a filibuster Republican – and does not alienate so many House liberals that the package cannot pass in the lower house.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, made it clear Monday that she wants the short-term government funding bill, known as the continuing resolution, to extend until to December 16. But what about developments in the talks? “Nothing new,” she said.

“It’s always my hope that we can move sooner rather than later.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) deferred questions on the continuing resolution to DeLauro, while House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) suggested the House simply wait to see if the Senate Democrats can get fellow Republicans to back a funding bill with Mandchin tongue attached.

“I think it’s still undecided as the Senate is still trying to figure out what it can do,” Hoyer said, adding that “we can pass it” in the House.

As the debate drags on, Hoyer has made it clear: Any hope that the House will complete its business in time to cancel the session scheduled for next week is probably over.

“No, no,” Hoyer said. “We will be here.”

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