WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers are responding after violent protests continue across the country, addressing what changes they say need to happen, and whether President Donald Trump is helping the situation.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said the riots of the past week show America needs action now.
“It is past time for us to have a robust and inclusive national dialogue on racial inequities,” said Portman (R-OH).
He wants to create a national commission on race.
“Perhaps the honorary co-chairs of such a commission could be people of standing, like former presidents Obama and Bush,” Portman said.
Indiana Sen. Mike Braun said it’s time to overhaul law enforcement protocol.
“I think that needs to be looked at because this repeats itself too often,” said Braun (R-IN).
And Indiana Rep. Jim Banks supports the president’s call for state officials to get tougher
“I think the president is right,” said Banks (R-IN). “Governors and mayors need to show forceful action to stop violence.”
But Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said the president is ignoring protesters’ concerns, criticizing his visit to a church Monday evening after police used force to clear demonstrators from the area.
“When he held up the bible, he didn’t pray, he didn’t quote from the bible,” said Brown (D-OH).
Brown says the president’s actions just aren’t helping.
“We’ve never seen a president who never takes the opportunity to try to heal,” he said.
Banks though said in a statement that the president’s church visit “was one of the best and inspiring moments of this presidency.”
Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley said it’s up to local officials to take the lead.
“They’re going to play a key role with communities of interest, the black community and police forces, to reach common ground and solutions,” said Quigley (D-IL).
Quigley adds the president should work with Congress to find common solutions.