Biden Reportedly Mulling Executive Action on Police Reform
02:43 GMT 15.01.2022 (Updated: 07:27 GMT 15.01.2022)
The White House on Thursday announced that US President Joe Biden remains supportive of bipartisan police reform legislation, but is now mulling executive action on the matter. Efforts related to the directive were put on the backburner last year over concerns that a unilateral move by the Democrats would impede bipartisan negotiations in Congress.
Biden is expected to sign executive actions as early as this month related to his administration's efforts on police reform, according to an NBC News report citing three individuals said to be familiar with the plan.
The details of the directives remain unknown, as they are still being finalised, the sources claimed.
The reported action would follow Democratic efforts to pass key election and voting rights legislation in the US Senate.
The matter has yet to be brought to a vote in the chamber, despite Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's push to call a vote before 17 January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US.
"I don't know whether we can get this done", Biden said of the voting rights legislation on Thursday, moments after Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) doubled down on her support of the filibuster.
With voting rights and police reform legislation stalled in Congress, Biden likely views executive action as a way to drum up support for the administration ahead of both Black History Month in February, and his first State of the Union Address on 1 March.
According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, Biden's approval rating is sitting at 33%, five points lower than former US President Donald Trump's rating midway through his single term in office. Additionally, only 57% of Black voters polled approve of Biden's performance thus far, another Quinnipiac survey showed. The findings equate to a 21-point drop from April.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted on Thursday that Biden intends to honour the administration's pledge to bring about police reform. She claimed that the US president was unable to take action sooner due to their support of "efforts to negotiate police reform on a bipartisan level" in Congress.
Psaki asserted to reporters that there is "a substantive process that it has to go through in the consideration of executive order".