And it comes amid a nationwide convulsion over the treatment of black Americans by law enforcement officers. "We think that lynching is an bad thing that should be roundly condemned and should be universally condemned". In what CNN reports was an "emotional debate" on the Senate floor Thursday, the Kentucky senator introduced an amendment he says would ensure lesser crimes, such as incidents that result in "a minor bruise or abrasion", wouldn't qualify as lynching.
What he's saying: "I think he's acting as a scoundrel here".
Senate Democrats, including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), participate in a moment of silence to honor George Floyd in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol on June 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. That remark set off Sen.
"That we would not be taking the issue of lynching seriously is an insult, an insult to Sen. I think he'll be treated and defined as a scoundrel that's standing in the pathway, standing in the doorway of passing a federal anti-lynching bill, after over 100 years of attempting to pass an anti-lynching bill", he said during a virtual Axios event on Friday.
Aides said the current standard in federal law for "bodily injury" is too broad.
The hold on the legislation, which has been ongoing for a few months, was reported Tuesday night by the National Journal.
The language of the House bill, which was named for Emmett Till, the 14-year-old murdered in MS in 1955, is very similar to another anti-lynching bill that passed the Senate last year by unanimous consent.
Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., who sponsored the legislation, said the bill will "send a strong message that violence, and race-based violence in particular, has no place in American society". Each failed. In late 2018, the Senate finally passed a bipartisan measure, but the Republican-led House didn't advance it before the end of the 115th Congress.
But the Republican senator did it anyway, apparently indifferent to appearances and unmoved by the arguments from Booker and Harris.
"Rather than consider a good-intentioned but symbolic bill, the Senate could immediately consider addressing qualified immunity and ending police militarization", Paul said. But it did not pass in the House.
Paul aides said he had similar concerns when the Senate bill passed a year ago but was not present to express them.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also a Republican from Kentucky, could take procedural steps to overcome Paul's objection and force a vote on the bill.
Scott told Politico on Wednesday that one way to get the legislation to President Donald Trump's desk would be for the House to pick up the version previously passed by the Senate.