Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) with Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Senate Republicans' police reform bill failed to gain enough votes to advance the measure in a procedural vote Wednesday.
Why it matters: It highlights the extent of their split with Democrats, who have blasted the GOP bill as "not salvageable" for failing to properly address what they believe are fundamental issues, like the banning of police chokeholds.
- The vote was 55-45. The bill needed 60 votes to proceed.
- Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, had urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans to begin "bipartisan talks to get to a constructive starting point" on the issue.
Of note: Sens. Joe Manchin (W. Va.) and Doug Jones (Ala.) were the only Democrats to vote to move the bill forward. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted to advance it.
The state of play, via Axios' Alayna Treene: While Democrats have shut down the opportunity to open debate on the Republican bill, senators from both sides of the aisle are still eager to negotiate a compromise.
- McConnell ultimately moved to vote against the measure — a purely procedural decision that would allow him to bring the bill up again "should progress be made."
The big picture: The Republican bill encourages departments to ban chokeholds through the use of federal grants and requires officers to report uses of force and no-knock warrants.
- Democrats' more sweeping legislation would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants outright. It also would seek to restrict "qualified immunity" for officers over actions in the field — a key red line for Republicans.
What they're saying: "The American people deserve an outcome. And we cannot get an outcome if Democrats will not even let us begin," McConnell said in a statement ahead of the vote.
- "Because the bill needs such large-scale and fundamental change, there is no conceivable way that a series of amendments strong enough to cure the defects in the bill garner 60 votes either. So no bill will pass as a result of this ploy," Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday, previewing the stalemate.
What's next: The House plans to vote on the Democratic bill this week, but McConnell has already said that it won't move forward in his chamber.