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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.

Go deeper

5 vulnerable GOP senators vote to protect Affordable Care Act from Trump lawsuit

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) in the background, in February 2018. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Six Republican senators, five of whom are up for re-election in 2020, sided with Democrats on Thursday in a procedural vote to block the Trump administration from supporting a lawsuit that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Why it matters: The final vote on the motion was 51-43, failing to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold to pass. But the move by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) forced several vulnerable GOP senators to go on the record on whether they support the lawsuit, which could strip protections from pre-existing conditions for millions of Americans.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House prepares to pass revised COVID relief bill as White House talks hit roadblock

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House is planning to move ahead Thursday with Democrats' revised $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill as 11th-hour negotiations with the White House continue.

The latest: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone at 1 p.m., following a 90-minute meeting on Capitol Hill Wednesday — the first in-person meeting between the two since August, when negotiations stalled. The two plan to speak again later this afternoon, according to a Pelosi aide.