Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to the press in the basement of the U.S Capitol during U.S. President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial in Washington, January 28, 2020.
Amanda Voisard | Reuters
Senate Democrats blocked a Republican police reform bill from advancing Wednesday as they call for bipartisan talks on a plan to overhaul law enforcement during a national outcry against brutality and racism.
The legislation, led by GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, did not garner the 60 votes needed to move forward to debate as voting continued. As Democrats argued the measure did not go far enough to root out failings in policing, Republicans contended they should vote to move ahead with it so they could formally propose amendments.
“If you don’t think we’re right, make it better. Don’t walk way,” Scott, one of three Black senators, said before the vote. “Vote for the motion to proceed so that we have an opportunity to deal with this very real threat to the America that is civil, that is balanced.”
The impasse Wednesday leaves Congress no closer to passing any police reform legislation during the biggest public push for change in decades. During weeks of protests after police killed George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, in Minneapolis last month, certain cities and states have taken initial steps to reform departments.
But the divided Congress — though limited in the change it can bring at the local level — has not yet passed a bill to respond to the crisis.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.