A Republican-led police reform bill failed in a Senate test vote on Wednesday after Democrats opposed the bill because it didn’t go far enough, sparking a furious war of words on the ground. and marked an apparent deadlock a few weeks after George Floyd’s death. to calls for new legislation.
The procedural vote on whether to start the debate was 55-45; I needed 60 votes to proceed. Republicans had 53 votes, but not enough Democrats joined.
This effectively freezes police reform in Congress for the time being, even if the House passes its own measure on Thursday.
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“The Senate was supposed to officially launch police reform on the floor today. Instead, our fellow Democrats are prepared to turn this routine step into a partisan stalemate, “enraged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, saying the bill was a” first offer “and It could have been altered during the discussion process.
Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have proposed bills amid the movement to reform the police in the wake of Floyd’s death last month in Minneapolis police custody.
Republican legislation, spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott, RS.C., would strengthen the requirements for the police to compile reports on the use of force. It would also establish the Breonna Taylor Notification Act to track “do not touch” orders. To focus on ending the bottlenecks, he encourages agencies to eliminate the practice or risk losing federal funds.
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However, it does not directly prohibit bottlenecks and does not end qualified immunity, two elements that Democrats have demanded.
Senator Cory Booker, DN.J., said the bill “guarantees that the cycle of violence in our country, the cycle of civil rights abuse, the cycle of death that has touched so many Americans will continue.”
Of the senators meeting with Democrats, only Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama, and Angus King of Maine voted to proceed.
Scott spoke in the Senate after the vote to criticize Democrats for what he saw as opposition fueled by politics, not politics.
“They cannot allow this party to be seen as a party that extends to all the communities in this nation,” he said.
Before the vote, McConnell praised the bill and accused Democrats of reaching a “strange new ultimatum” by threatening to block the bill.
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“They do not want a debate, they do not want amendments, they prevent police reform from reaching the floor of the Senate unless the majority allows the minority to rewrite the bill behind closed doors in advance,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. shot McConnell, saying the bill was the “legislative equivalent of a fig leaf, something that provides little coverage but not real change.”
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“Don’t get on your sanctity horse, Leader McConnell. You don’t have any of the civil rights leaders behind you,” he said.
It is the latest burning language from lawmakers on the passionate debate. On Tuesday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, said the Republicans are “trying to escape the murder, actually, the murder of George Floyd.”
Marisa Schultz and Chad Pergram of Fox News contributed to this report.