Senate Democrats blocked a Republican police reform bill on a procedural vote Wednesday without debating the legislation.
The vote needed 60 votes in order for it to move forward to a debate. The vote was 55-45. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture Monday on the Republican police reform legislation, setting up Wednesday’s vote.
Republicans needed seven or more Democrats to vote with them in order for the legislation to advance. Senate Republicans released their police reform legislation the previous Wednesday in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing protests.
“The only group left in Washington D.C. that are reportedly agonizing over whether to block a discussion of police reform or let it proceed seem to be our Senate Democratic colleagues,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday. “I hope that whatever strange political calculations are making this difficult for our friends across the aisle will yield to common sense and to the American people’s hunger for progress. We will find out when we vote later this week.”
Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and McConnell introduced the legislation in a press conference.
The legislation will include a “notification act so that we can understand and appreciate the 30,000 plus no-knocks that happen around the country to see where they’re happening so we have more information,” Scott said. It is supposed to include anti-lynching legislation that was stalled by Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in the Senate. The legislation also calls for more funding for body cameras. (RELATED: Sen. Tim Scott Lays Out What He Expects In GOP Police Reform Legislation)
McConnell appointed Scott to lead the party’s effort in passing a police overhaul bill before July 4. The South Carolina senator has ruled out including a revision to qualified immunity — a key measure supported by Democrats and others. (RELATED: Sen. Tim Scott Fires Back At Those Calling Him A ‘Token’ For Drafting GOP Police Reform Legislation)
The group of Republican senators who worked on the bill includes Scott’s fellow South Carolina Senator, Lindsay Graham, as well as Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, Texas Sen. John Cornyn and West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.