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Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

  • It would also establish a national registry of police misconduct to be managed by the Department of Justice.

Worth noting: Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Tex.) was the only Republican to vote in favor of the bill. He later said in a since-deleted tweet that he had "accidentally pressed the wrong voting button and realized it too late."

  • "I have changed the official record to reflect my opposition to the partisan George Floyd Policing Act," Gooden added.
  • Democratic Reps. Jared Golden and Ron Kind voted against the legislation.

What they're saying: "Sadly, despite mass protests across America and a renewed focus on the crisis of racial injustice, the epidemic of police brutality continues — with more police killings occurring last year than in the year before, and with communities of color and vulnerable groups disproportionately bearing the brunt of this cruelty," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement introducing the bill last week.

  • "The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will address systemic racism, curb police brutality and save lives."

The White House backed the legislation on Monday.

  • "We cannot rebuild that trust [between law enforcement and communities] if we do not hold police officers accountable for abuses of power and tackle systemic misconduct – and systemic racism — in police departments," the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

The big picture: Law enforcement was responsible for the killings of 1,127 people in 2020, according to the Mapping Police Violence project. Black people comprised 28% of those who were killed, despite making up 13% of the population.

  • The House passed a similar police reform bill last year, but it was not considered by the Republican-led Senate and was opposed by President Trump.
  • Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who killed Floyd after kneeling on his neck for over eight minutes, is set to face trial next Monday.

Zoom out: The vote on the bill was rescheduled as the U.S. Capitol Police warned of a possible attack on Thursday.

What to watch: "We will begin ... discussions with the Senate immediately after the bill is passed," adding, "Over the last several weeks, discussions especially with Sen. Tim Scott and Sen. Cory Booker have been under way," Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who is leading police overhaul efforts in the House, told reporters on Wednesday, per CNN.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with to reflect that Gooden changed his vote.

Go deeper

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

Updated Mar 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Capitol Police warns of attack by "an identified militia group" on March 4

Pro-Trump rioters break into U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. Capitol Police issued a statement on Wednesday announcing additional security measures after it obtained intelligence showing "a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4."

Why it matters: Washington, D.C. remains on edge following the deadly Capitol insurrection, with lawmakers continuing to conduct investigations into the security failures that led to the Jan. 6 breach.

FBI director: Jan. 6 Capitol attack was domestic terrorism

The FBI views the Jan. 6 Capitol siege as an act of domestic terrorism, director Christopher Wray testified in his opening statement Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The FBI's designation of the attack as domestic terrorism puts the perpetrators "on the same level with ISIS and homegrown violent extremists," Wray said.