Is LA Rep. Karen Bass under consideration to be Joe Biden's pick for vice president?

Rep. Karen Bass discussed the Democrats' Justice in Policing Act and also addressed reports she is under consideration to be Joe Biden's pick for vice president.
Is Los Angeles Congresswoman Karen Bass under consideration to be Joe Biden's pick for vice president?

There are reports that Bass made it on to Biden's short list as a Democratic vice presidential candidate. In an interview Tuesday on Eyewitness News, Bass deflected the question.

"My only response to that is questions like that should go to the campaign," she said. "I am laser focused on getting the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed out of the House of Representatives."

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is the Democrats' proposal to overhaul police procedures and accountability after the mass protests over the deaths of black Americans at the hand of law enforcement.
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Senate Republicans unveiled proposed changes to police procedures and accountability Wednesday including an enhanced use-of-force database, restrictions on chokeholds and new commissions to study law enforcement and race.


Bass, D-Los Angeles, is leading the way for that proposal. The package limits legal protections for police, creates a national database of excessive-force encounters and bans police choke holds, among other changes. The changes, if enacted, would have massive implications on policing in the U.S.

But Congress is at a standoff over policing legislation, as Senate Democrats prepare to block a Republican proposal Wednesday as inadequate.

"That bill mimics ours but it doesn't have the enforcement," Bass said. "It doesn't have the teeth. So that bill will fail. Ours will pass, their bill will fail and that is usually when negotiations begin."

VIDEO: When protesters cry 'defund the police,' what does that mean?
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Protesters are pushing to "defund the police" over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans. Their chant has become a rallying cry - and a stick for President Donald Trump to use on Democrats as he portrays them as soft on crime.


Bass calls for a re-investment in communities, such as in social services, which she said would alleviate pressure from police.

"Police officers shouldn't have to pick up the pieces for problems and issues that historically the federal government, the state government and the city government have stopped funding," she said.

The GOP's Justice Act would create a national database of police use-of-force incidents, restrict police chokeholds and set up new training procedures and commissions to study race and law enforcement. It is not as sweeping as the Democratic proposal.

Bass said public pressure is key to get bipartisan support for police reform.

"Congress can take 20 years to move or 20 days," Bass said. "The only reason why we're even considering this legislation now is because of the massive protests. We need to keep it up, it obviously needs to be peaceful, but that will make Congress change."

VIDEO: Understanding commonly used terms, ideas related to racism, injustice
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Learn more about seven terms commonly used when discussing racism and racial injustice like systemic racism, white privilege, institutional racism, microaggression and white fragility.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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