Senate defeats Justice Department accountability amendment

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), however, launched a vigorous offensive against the amendment from the Senate floor, arguing that it would impose cumbersome reporting requirements on local police departments and agencies that could prevent them from winning and keeping federal services.

“This would make it impossible for some small rural committees to get bulletproof vests … this would make it impossible for some of the smaller departments to get money for rape kits,” Leahy argued. “This is a one-size-fits-all approach that is going to hurt law enforcement and hurt victims.”  

Voting in quick succession, the Senate also defeated an amendment proposed by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to prohibit amounts appropriated for any freight rail transportation project from being expended unless the steel, iron and manufactured products used in the project are produced in the United States. That vote was 55-44, but required a 60-votes for passage.

The Senate also cleared, by unanimous consent, an amendment from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to increase available funding for the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 and another technical amendment to improve the bill offered by Sen. Jim Moran (D-Va.).