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Lawmaker Votes for Police Reform, Immediately Regrets It

GOP's Lance Gooden says he pressed the wrong button
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2021 10:00 AM CST

(Newser) – Rep. Lance Gooden voted for a police reform bill Wednesday night that bans chokeholds and certain no-knock warrants, among other measures—and he wants his constituents in Texas to know that he sincerely regrets the error. Gooden, the only Republican who voted to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, says he accidentally pressed the wrong button, the Hill reports. "Of course I wouldn't support the radical left's, Anti-Police Act," he tweeted. "I have changed the official record to reflect my opposition!" The bill passed 220-212, with two Democrats joining every Republican except Gooden in voting against it.

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The police reform bill, an earlier version of which was passed by the House last year but failed in the Senate, also overhauls qualified immunity for police and bans racial profiling, reports NPR. It's not clear whether the Democrats will be able to get 10 Republicans in the evenly split Senate to vote for it this time. Gooden's mistake didn't affect the outcome of the House vote, but other lawmakers' errors have had more serious consequences, the Washington Post notes. In a 2012 vote in North Carolina, Democratic Rep. Becky Carney accidentally cast the deciding vote to legalize fracking, and state House rules didn't allow her to change it. (Read more House of Representatives stories.)

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