WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid blamed “crushing poverty” as the “underlying problem” for the violent scenes witnessed in Baltimore Monday
“We cannot condone the violence we see in Baltimore. But we must not ignore the despair and hopelessness that gives rise to this kind of violence,” the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor late Tuesday afternoon.
“It doesn’t matter if you live in Searchlight or Las Vegas, in Baltimore or rural Maryland: when there is no hope, anger and despair move in. So let’s condemn the violence. But let’s not ignore the underlying problem. Let’s not pretend the system is fair. Let’s not pretend everything is okay.”
Reid added, “So instead of turning a blind eye, let’s work together and take this problem seriously. There is bipartisan work being done on criminal justice reform and that is a good start.”
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said on Tuesday race is still a fundamental issue relating to law enforcement, when it came to events that set off riots in Baltimore, suggesting that body cameras and training for police could be a way for Congress to step in. (RELATED: Top Democrat Says Race Still Plays A Part In Policing)
Reid said on the floor, “Ensuring that populations are not unfairly targeted for incarceration will be a positive step, but we also need to be investing in inner cities and rural areas, and ensuring that jobs and training and educational opportunities are available where they are needed most.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer wants more federal funding spent on rebuilding Baltimore, telling The Daily Caller Tuesday, “We have to invest in making sure that we have proper infrastructure and proper housing so that we have neighborhoods that are safe and that we have safe conditions in which to live.”