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Democrats plan compromise vote on policing bills that would blunt the 'de-fund the police' issue

Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., were critical intra-party negotiators on the plan.

Published: September 21, 2022 3:36pm

Updated: September 21, 2022 5:19pm

House Democrats will bring a legislative package to bolster mental health and de-escalation training in small police departments up for a vote on Thursday.

Consisting of four separate bills, the package will provide funds to small police departments, issue grants for reducing community violence, promote the use of mental health workers in certain situations, and fund technology to assist investigators working on cold cases, according to The Hill. Some Democrats in competitive races see the plan as a way to combat Republican allegations that they want to "defund the police," the outlet noted.

Congressional Black Caucus head Rep. Joyce Beatty, R-Ohio, expected some Democrats to oppose providing further funding to law enforcement, but ultimately asserted that the bill was a vital step toward improving policing efforts in the United States.

"The American people have been asking for mental health — we're giving them that," she said of the plan, per The Hill. "The American people have been asking for training and making sure that we're looking at the victims — we're giving them that."

"They've been asking us to break this cycle of violence — we're giving them that. They have been asking us in small communities, or rural communities, to make sure we do something to get good police officers," she continued.

Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., were critical intra-party negotiators on the plan, the outlet reported. The pair have long advocated for police reforms that addressed mental health issues and emphasized de-escalation.

"With this package, House Democrats have the opportunity to model a holistic, inclusive approach to public safety, and keep our promise to families across the country to address this issue at the federal level," the pair said of the plan.

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