WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will host members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House on Thursday as they try to revive an effort on Capitol Hill to pass police reform legislation.
They are set to meet in the Oval Office in the afternoon, a day after Harris attended the funeral of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police in Memphis, Tenn., in January.
The participants include Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., the caucus chair, Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., as well as Reps. James Clyburn, D-S.C., Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Joe Neguse, D-Colo., the White House said.
Earlier this week, Horsford requested a meeting with Biden to "push for negotiations on much needed national reforms to our justice system - specifically, the actions and conduct of our law enforcement."
"No one in our nation should fear interacting with the police officers who serve our diverse communities, large and small. We all want to be safe," Horsford said in a statement Sunday. "Many Black and brown people, however, and many young people in general, are justifiably afraid to interact with law enforcement officials."
Biden is "committed to doing everything in his power to adjust, to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all," Olivia Dalton, White House principal deputy press secretary, told reporters this week.
Last week, Biden spoke by phone with Nichols' mother and stepfather, RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells. He expressed his condolences and commended the family's courage and strength, the White House said.
He also said he was "outraged and deeply pained" in response to videos of the brutal beating. In a statement shortly after the videos were released, he called the images "horrific."
"It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day," Biden said.
Attempts to resurrect negotiations in Congress over police reform are already teetering toward an impasse.
Some senators have tried to revisit talks in the wake of Nichols' death but some are skeptical they'll reach an agreement that can pass in the new divided Congress.
It's the second time in three years that lawmakers have sought to advance legislation for new rules about police practices. The previous effort came after the murder of George Floyd.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Monday that he had initiated a discussion with Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the committee's top Republican, about one of the major sticking points of failed bipartisan police reform negotiations two years ago: qualified immunity for officers.
However, ahead of the White House meeting Thursday, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who has been a lead Republican negotiator for police reform, posted a series of tweets saying that discussions about resurrecting the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act are "a nonstarter."
Even if a bill were to pass the Senate, the new GOP-controlled House is unlikely to consider any proposal on the issue.
In March 2021, the Democratic-led House voted 220-212 to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The only Republican who voted for it, Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas, said that he did so by mistake and that he opposes the bill. The vote led to months of talks - featuring Scott, Booker and Karen Bass, then a Democratic House member - to craft legislation that could pass in the House and achieve 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate.
The two sides were closing in on a deal on some provisions, like imposing limits on chokeholds and "no knock" warrants, providing mental health resources for officers and preserving records of misconduct. But talks stalled over some irreconcilable differences, including whether to roll back qualified immunity for police officers - a priority of civil rights advocates that Republicans strongly opposed.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com