Lawmakers punt deadline for bipartisan police reform deal

Previously, some lawmakers floated Thursday as the deadline for a compromise. Scott, the lead Senate Republican negotiator, said Thursday he hoped “in the next few hours we’ll come to a conclusion where we are comfortable, or not.”

Scott added that he wanted a policing accord “that will be meaningful enough for us to continue to march on.” Even so, lawmakers have struggled to close the gap on major issues like restrictions on officers’ use of force.

Booker has floated a proposal that would incur criminal penalties for the use of excessive force, but law enforcement groups and some Republicans favor an existing, looser standard based on an officer’s view of the situation.

Booker, the lead Senate Democrat attempting to hammer out a compromise, declined to comment on the timing of negotiations.

“We’ll see what happens when it happens,” he told POLITICO. Public deadlines did not “serve much of a purpose for actually helping us get things done,” he said.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), also a police reform negotiator, said before the chamber left for recess their statement “makes it clear that we haven’t agreed on everything. Until we do, we’re not going to claim victory.”

Earlier Thursday he said he was worried about the prospect of talks lasting too much longer.

“It gets complicated,” he said.