A police reform bill introduced by Senate Republicans last week has been blocked by Democrats who called it too flawed to even be a starting point for debate. A motion to introduce Senate debate on the bill, which needed 60 votes, was defeated in a 55-45 vote Wednesday, reports NBC. "The Republican majority proposed the legislative equivalent of a fig leaf—something that provides a little cover but no real change," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, per the Washington Post. "The harsh fact of the matter is, the bill is so deeply, fundamentally and irrevocably flawed, it cannot serve as a useful starting point for meaningful reform." Two Democrats and independent Sen. Angus King voted to advance the bill.
Civil rights leaders and the Congressional Black Caucus opposed the Republican bill, which failed to propose reforms as sweeping as the ones in a competing House bill, which will go to a vote on Thursday, the AP reports. President Trump tweeted Tuesday night that the Senate bill "will be great for both people of color and police" and he hoped "to sign it into law ASAP!" Senate Democrats said that if Republicans wanted a bipartisan police reform bill, they should have allowed them to have more input before trying to advance it. Sources tell the Post that Democratic senators rejected offers from Republicans for amendment votes on their proposal after it went to debate. One source says GOP Sen. Tim Scott, who introduced the bill, offered to help filibuster his own bill if Democrats didn't get amendment votes. (Read more police stories.)