President Biden is keeping his distance from police reform legislation negotiations on Capitol Hill, using his bully pulpit to publicly demand action on reform but leaving the legislating to lawmakers.
The strategy is meant to give Republicans and Democrats time to come together on a police reform measure that can pass the Senate, and allies say that Biden is likely to become more intimately involved in the process at the appropriate moment.
Behind the scenes, the White House has been engaging with lawmakers and offices on Capitol Hill involved in the discussions on police reform and Biden held a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) recently during which the issue came up.
Still, Biden has not yet convened meetings focused on police reform specifically and the White House has danced around questions about whether he has pressed Republicans in private conversations on the issue.
“Joe Biden is a very pragmatic realist. He understands the legislative process,” said Moe Vela, a former Biden adviser. “The reason he is giving them room to negotiate and compromise is he knows especially in a divided Congress and country … that the hope of getting anything done and getting any progress is rooted in compromise and collaboration.”