Sen. Tim Scott. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and other Senate Republicans introduced Wednesday their police reform bill that encourages departments to ban chokeholds through the use of federal grants and requires officers to report uses of force and no-knock warrants.

Why it matters: The bill, which has the support of the majority of the Senate GOP conference and the White House, is seen as the starting point for larger negotiations with House Democrats on compromise legislation.

What they're saying: "This legislation ... speaks to that spirit, that we believe the overwhelming number of officers in this nation are good people, working hard," Scott said at a press conference announcing the bill.

  • "I think this package speaks very clearly to the young person who's concerned when he's stopped by law enforcement officers," he added.
  • "If our Democratic friends would like to make a law and not just make a point, I hope they'll join us. ... I want you to know we're serious about making a law here," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, announcing that the chamber will move the legislation to the floor next week.

The big picture: Beyond the chokeholds and reporting provisions, the bill would ...

  • Make lynching a federal crime.
  • Incentivize the use of body cameras through federal grants.
  • Increase penalties for false police reports.
  • Create a "Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys."
  • Charge federal law enforcement with a federal crime if they engage in a sexual act with an individual in custody.

Worth noting: The bill does not mention "qualified immunity" — something Democrats have pushed at restricting but the White House has called a red line.

  • Scott is still committed to pursuing a "decertification" process for officers who knowingly violate the law.
  • Sources familiar with the Senate GOP bill tell Axios that they expect the issue to be the first topic to come up during negotiations.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded to the bill in a statement Wednesday:

House Democrats hope to work in a bipartisan way to pass legislation that creates meaningful change to end the epidemic of racial injustice and police brutality in America. The Senate proposal of studies and reporting without transparency and accountability is inadequate. The Senate’s so-called Justice Act is not action.

Read the bill text.

Go deeper: Senate Republicans prepare their opening bid on police reform

Go deeper

Two officers shot in Louisville amid Breonna Taylor protests

Police officers stand guard during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Louisville Metro Police Department said two officers were shot downtown in the Kentucky city late Wednesday, hours after a grand jury decided that none of the officers would be charged with the killing of Breonna Taylor.

Details: A police spokesperson told a press briefing that a suspect was in custody and that the injuries of both officers were not life-threatening. One officer was "alert and stable" and the other was undergoing surgery, he said.

Biden: Breonna Taylor indictment "does not answer" call for justice

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday addressed the grand jury decision not to charge the officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor, saying in a statement that the decision "does not answer" the call for equal justice.

The big picture: Biden called for reforms to address police use of force and no-knock warrants, while demanding a ban on chokeholds. He added that people "have a right to peacefully protest, but violence is never acceptable."

Sep 24, 2020 - Technology

Senate panel plans subpoena vote for Google, Facebook, Twitter CEOs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate Commerce Committee plans to hold a subpoena vote to compel testimony from the top executives of Google, Facebook and Twitter for a hearing next month, the panel announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The subpoena threat is the latest move by lawmakers to pare back the tech industry's prized liability shield, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.