Sen. Cory Booker is seen here in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in March of 2022 in Washington, DC. Booker was one of the lead negotiators on legislation to overhaul policing laws. (Drew Angerer-Getty Images)
*(CNN) — The prospect for new bipartisan negotiations on Capitol Hill for legislation overhauling policing laws remains very low, despite calls from the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, and others for congressional action in the wake of the brutal police beating and death of Tyre Nichols.
Previous talks broke down without a deal in September 2021 despite months of negotiations between Sen. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, and then-Rep. Karen Bass, a California Democrat, now serving as mayor of Los Angeles.
Now, with a divided Congress in place and a presidential election year on the horizon, the chances of getting a deal are slim.
Still, Scott and Booker both reiterated their commitment to reform in the wake of Nichols’ death.
“Senator Scott has been working on police funding and reform for the better part of the last decade,” a spokesperson for Scott told CNN. “He has never left the negotiating table and has encouraged his colleagues on the other of side of the aisle to join him in his continued efforts to increase safety in our communities.”
Booker said in a statement he will be renewing his legislative efforts “in the coming days.”
But any effort would need bipartisan support and 60 votes to clear the Senate and would then have to pass a GOP-controlled House, an extremely difficult task and at this point, unlikely, outcome.
“Although Senate action on policing reform has proven difficult, from the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to more targeted reforms, I will never stop working to build a broad coalition to enact the changes that will make our nation safer, stronger, and more just,” Booker said in the statement.
Rep. Jim Jordan, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, signaled over the weekend he would not support crafting any new laws.
“I don’t know that there is any law that can stop that evil that we saw that is just, I mean, just difficult to watch,” Jordan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “What strikes me is a lack of respect for human life, so I don’t know that any law, any training, any reform is going to change, you know, this man was handcuffed. They continued to beat him.”
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the GOP leadership and Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNN that “I don’t know what the pathway is” to finding a deal on policing legislation.
Cornyn said that the issue of changing qualified immunity on police officers — to make it easier to sue them in civil court — remains a central sticking point.
“We’ve been talking about (the legislation) for two years and never been able to get to consensus on that,” Cornyn said.
This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.
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