The House of Representatives passed police reform law on Wednesday banning chokeholds across the country and revising qualified immunity for civil servants.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, or HR 1280, passed the House by 220-212 votes. The bill bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug cases at the federal level. The law would also change qualified immunity laws that make it harder for citizens to sue police officers.
Some states have already banned arrest warrants, weakened qualified immunity laws and started publishing police disciplinary files. The bill also empowers the Department of Justice to issue subpoenas in the event of an investigation against police authorities for a pattern or practice of discrimination.
The bill will face a difficult path in the Senate where 10 Republicans will have to support it. The only House Republican to back the bill, Rep. Lance Gooden (TX), said he had no plans to endorse the bill and hit the wrong button when voting.
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Who introduced the bill, said she was confident she could get enough Republican support in the Senate to pass the bill as many states have already taken those steps.
“One of the things that has happened in the past 12 months is that many states have moved forward without us and passed reforms,” Bass told reporters after the House passed the law. “When we sit down to meet this time, we can talk about reforms that are already in place.”
The White House endorsed the bill with President Joe Biden, according to which trust between the police and their communities cannot be rebuilt until the police are held responsible for their actions.
Republicans continued to demand that the Democrats try to disappoint the police by passing the bill, but the bill makes no mention of police budgets or money in general.
The bill is named after George Floyd, who was killed last summer by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin held his knee against Floyd’s neck for just under 9 minutes after Floyd was accused of stealing from a store. He has been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter, and his trial begins Monday.
Floyd’s death sparked national and global protests against Black Lives Matter.