Washington Afternoon Update: House May Return Before June 30 to Consider Policing Measures, Hoyer Says

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  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the House may convene before its scheduled June 30 return date to consider legislation to overhaul federal policing laws amid the nationwide protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, voicing support for a proposal from House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York that would outlaw the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House has not decided whether to consider a comprehensive bill or take a piecemeal approach to the issues, and Hoyer said the Congressional Black Caucus is taking the lead on the legislation. (Roll Call)
  • Attorney General William Barr personally directed law enforcement officers to clear peaceful demonstrators out of a park in front of the White House that had been the epicenter of the capital’s protests so President Donald Trump could walk to the historic St. Johns church for photos, according to a Justice Department official. Yesterday’s forced removal of demonstrators with tear gas drew wide condemnation, and Barr, who is managing the federal law enforcement response to the demonstrations, said in a statement that “there will be even greater law enforcement resources” deployed in Washington tonight. (The New York Times)
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) was captured on a live microphone trying to speak at a Bronx news conference over the Floyd killing and saying “if I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.” The 16-term lawmaker, who faces a competitive primary on June 23, was criticized and later clarified his remarks, saying he had wanted to convey that he cares “deeply about what’s happening in this country.” (The Washington Post)

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