U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore says the House police reform bill named after George Floyd will have a hard time making it through the Senate, but she said the measure will “not be in Mitch McConnell’s graveyard.”
The Milwaukee Dem during a WisPolitics.com-Milwaukee Press Club virtual luncheon March 11 said Republicans are mounting fierce opposition to the bill after it passed the House, but she thinks the bill will “see the light of day” when it gets heard in Senate committees. However, she said that opposition will make it hard to move the bill through the Senate.
But she said the bill is important for police accountability and reducing the number of Black people who die or are harmed at the hands of police.
“All we want with the George Floyd justice bill is for police to stop killing Black people out of hand without any justification,” Moore said.
She said a provision in the bill that would ban chokeholds is important because Black people just like Floyd end up dying because of them.
“Certainly if you can’t preserve someone’s life, we get that,” Moore said. But she added Floyd should not have died. The trial for an officer charged in Floyd’s death is taking place now in Minneapolis.
She said provisions in the police reform bill would have prevented Floyd’s death and the deaths of other Black people.
“I am not an expert on police tactics, but I do know there are ways for police to restrain people without killing them,” she said.
Moore also said Republicans’ push to reopen schools instead of voting on the pandemic relief bill was dangerous without proper precautions.
She said opening schools quickly without addressing ventilation and social distancing issues would be sending students and teachers into harm’s way.
“This would be a death trap,” Moore said.
She also slammed Republicans who opposed the pandemic relief bill because many of them also supported a 2017 bill that cut taxes by $1.9 trillion.
She said legislators who opposed the more recent $1.9 trillion bill because they felt it spent too much money were being hypocritical. She said much of that money is slated to go to people in lower income brackets while the 2017 tax cuts primarily went to businesses and people who made more than $75,000 per year.
Moore also advocated increasing the minimum wage despite the U.S. Senate removing a provision from the latest $1.9 trillion bill.
“If you go to work, at a minimum you should be able to afford rent, food and maybe be able to put a little Tonka truck under the Christmas tree,” she added.
Moore also said U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman’s floor comments on Black Lives Matter yesterday were a genuine example of his views.
She said the Glenbeulah Republican believes the solution to get rid of welfare is for women to get married. However, Moore said Grothman has never been married and he doesn’t understand how families and households operate.
While talking about “marriage penalties” in the recently passed pandemic relief bill, Grothman said: “I know the strength that Black Lives Matter had in this last election, I know it’s a group that doesn’t like the old-fashioned family.”
Moore said that statement was a true reflection of Grothman’s thoughts on Black people and women.
“I think what he doesn’t recognize is that there are a lot of men who can’t stand up a household by themselves without a woman working,” Moore said.
She added Grothman has opposed honoring Juneteenth as a national holiday every time it has been proposed.
“He does not like any kind of Black nationalism or any kind of identity politics,” she said. “This is sincerely who he is. He was being himself, he was speaking his mind.”