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.

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McSally: GOP would "never get the Senate back" if D.C. and Puerto Rico were states

Sen. Martha McSally on May 6 in Washington, DC. Photo: Shawn Thew via Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz) told NBC News that if Democrats take the Senate and grant statehood to Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, Republicans would "never get the Senate back again."

Why it matters: McSally is facing a challenge from astronaut Mark Kelly in a competitive race that many believe could determine the balance of the Senate. "This is just the implications of this seat, the implications of this vote," McSally said after claiming that Democrats would get four new senators with D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood.

Dems raise alarm over changes to Postal Service's election mail processing practices

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House and Senate Democrats wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Wednesday, urging him not to issue new directives for handling election mail ahead of November's general election.

Why it matters: Democrats fear changes to election mail processing practices "will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters and put significant financial pressure on election jurisdictions," per a letter written by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and signed by the 47-member Democratic caucus.

Apple's antitrust fight turns Epic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.

Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.