Partisan divide on qualified immunity could sink police reform in Congress

4 The Record

Qualified immunity clause protects officers from lawsuits

Election year politics present different challenges and strategies for Democrats and Republicans, successes and failures in the approach to the pandemic raises questions about the overall strategy in the United States and police reform stalls on Capitol Hill.

All things we talked about this week on 4 The Record with Scott County Republican Party Chair David Millage and Democratic political consultant Porter McNeil.

Police reform

Federal police reform legislation stalled in congress this week when Democrats blocked the legislation pushed by Senate Republicans from coming up for a vote.

House Democrats have a different version.

There is common ground.

But the big difference is the Democrats’ proposal would make changes to qualified immunity, making it possible to sue law enforcement officers.

Democrats also want to ban police chokeholds and get rid of no knock warrants in drug cases.

The Republican plan falls short in these areas and emphasizes police training.

McNeil and Millage discussed if this puts Congress on a path to get nothing done on this issue and how these differences can be resolved.


Now the pandemic.

Seven states reported highs this week for patients hospitalized with the coronavirus.

We’re also seeing several states with new daily highs in cases as well as the country as a whole.

Now consider the European Union, which has seen its virus curve flatten and drop to the point where countries there are planning to open up to international travel, but ban visitors from the United States along with other virus plagued countries.

The handling of the coronavirus has been left up to the individual states.

Millage and McNeil addressed if it is time to re-think that, possibly with a true national policy that’s more than recommendations?


These prominent issues come up in a fiercely competitive election year.

Control of the House and Senate in Congress are at stake.

There’s the presidential race along with the fights in state governments.

It seems Democrats are bent on making this election largely a referendum on President Trump, but successful campaigns are often the ones that offer hope along with policy.

McNeil talked about the strategy he thinks Democrats should follow to achieve their goals

Republicans also have challenges.

The president’s popularity has taken a dip even among his most loyal supporters.

There are the current economic struggles and the pandemic.

Republicans would love to hold onto the White House, the Senate and reclaim the House of Representatives.

A couple of candidates endorsed by the president lost their primaries in North Carolina and Kentucky this week.

Millage discussed what it will take for Republicans to get it done and how much they will align or distance themselves from the president.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

Question of the week

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Election Coverage

Don't Miss