Staffers from the offices of Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) spoke Thursday to the media after failing to reach agreement on Capitol Hill on Thursday evening, in anticipation of the possible passing of a House bill to strengthen oversight of federal agencies after a Department of Justice’s investigation of racial discrimination in the Los Angeles Police Department.
“We engaged very early, we didn’t engage for a very long time. We didn’t engage because we were hoping, we didn’t engage because we were just waiting to hear from the Justice Department,” Jeffries said, referring to what he said was the Justice Department’s ability to delay police reform legislation in light of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian influence over the 2016 election.
The legislation, the Eliminating Modern Day Harassment and Discrimination in Law Enforcement Act (EMDRLE Act), had been passed in the House unanimously in December. Earlier in the week, Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) announced they would be working together on a similar bill.
The Senate has not yet voted on this legislation, although it looks likely that the bill will advance.
Watch the full press conference from Jeffries’ office here.