Senate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules

Senate leaders failed, at least for now, to reach a deal Tuesday night to speed up votes on amendments to the impeachment trial rules. 
 
 
This would have set them up for back-to-back votes, negating the need for the House managers and Trump's defense team to debate each one before each vote.
 
McConnell, noting that "there's a certain similarity to all these amendments," asked in a floor speech whether Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBarr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation Roger Stone witness alleges Trump targeted prosecutors in 'vile smear job' MORE (D-N.Y.) "might be willing to enter into a consent agreement to stack these votes." 
 
Schumer did not agree, though he did signal a willingness to delay some of the votes until Wednesday. 
 
"As has been clear to every senator and the country, we believe witnesses and documents are extremely important, and a compelling case has been made for them. We will have votes on all of these. The leader, without consulting us, made changes, a number of significant changes that significantly deviated from the 1999 Clinton resolution. We want to change those," Schumer said from the Senate floor, responding to McConnell. 
 
He added that "there will be a good number of votes" but said Democrats were willing to hold some of them on Wednesday. 
 
But agreeing to kick the fight over the impeachment rules into Wednesday would go against McConnell's pledge, made earlier Tuesday, that the Senate would stay in session until they passed the rules resolution. 
 
Democrats have already forced votes on four amendments: three requests for documents related to the delayed Ukraine aid and an effort to subpoena acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request Scaramucci thanks John Kelly for speaking up against Trump Trump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' MORE. The impeachment trial started at 1 p.m., and without a deal to speed up the process, the Senate will stay in session until the early hours of Wednesday. 
 
McConnell noted that "all of these amendments under the resolution could be dealt with at the appropriate time." He then effectively paused the Senate trial so that staff and senators could try to see if there was a deal. 
 
McConnell was spotted chatting with a cadre of Republican senators during the break, including Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMcConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran As many as eight GOP senators expected to vote to curb Trump's power to attack Iran MORE (S.D.), Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Republicans expect Trump to pull controversial Fed nominee | Inside Judy Shelton's confirmation hearing | Trump extends emergency declaration at border Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee Pentagon transferring .8 billion to border wall MORE (Ala.), John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) and Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsKobach says he discussed his Senate bid with Trump Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee Celebrating and expanding upon five years of the ABLE  Act MORE (Kansas). 
 
 
But once the Senate came back, there was no announcement of a deal. 
 
Instead, Schumer offered the fifth Democratic amendment — one that tries to compel the Defense Department to hand over Ukraine-related documents. 
 
Asked if that meant they had failed to get a deal, a spokesman for the Democratic leader told The Hill that was "correct, for now." 
 
"For the time being, arguments and votes on Sen. Schumer’s amendments will continue," the spokesman added in an email to reporters.