A bill making lynching a federal hate crime might seem like a no-brainer to some lawmakers, but Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is the only Republican signing on.
Scott faced a tough line of questioning Sunday from Face the Nation‘s Margaret Brennan, as he was pushed to explain why he hasn’t yet been joined by his GOP colleagues in his support for the proposal, which Congress has been attempting to pass for more than 100 years, failing nearly 200 times.
“Sometimes it’s good to be first,” Scott said of his co-sponsorship of the bill backed by more than two dozen Democrats. “So I look forward to looking for ways to bring more folks on board. I think we will.”
While the senator is hopeful that his fellow party members will get on board, he noted the bill’s passage is long overdue.
“The fact of the matter is the lynching issue is an issue that we should have dealt with many years ago,” he told Brennan. “It is still an issue that raises fear and trepidation in communities of color and frankly in any community in this nation we should all stand together and say that lynching is a hate crime, be done with it and move on. I think we’ll see bipartisan coalition coming together on that bill.”
Despite the lack of co-sponsorship for the bill among the GOP, Scott maintained that he wasn’t alone in his attention to racial justice, contending that “a lot of Republicans are leaning forward.”
“The fact fact that I’m the leading cosponsor of the lynching legislation is true,” he acknowledged. “But it does not necessarily tell the whole story on other Republicans who are engaged in the process of making sure that we have a level playing field in the criminal justice space.”
Watch the clip above via CBS News.
[Image via screengrab]