House Democrats on Thursday pushed through a long-sought policing and public safety package after overcoming internal differences on legislation they plan to make central to their election-year pitch.
The package of four bills passed in succession – all with bipartisan support – and headed to the Senate, where their fate is uncertain.
The Democrats’ success came after party leaders spent hours wrangling with progressives who threatened to block the package over their concerns about increasing money for local police departments. A few lawmakers said the plan lacked the accountability measures that Democrats had once sought after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked protests against racial injustice.
The House ended up approving the money, including for departments with fewer than 125 officers, and aid for de-escalation training and mental health services. A chief objective is reducing fatal encounters between police and people with mental illness.