McConnell sets initial police reform vote for Wednesday

McConnell sets initial police reform vote for Wednesday
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power MORE (R-Ky.) is setting up a key test vote for a GOP police reform bill.

McConnell on Monday moved to end debate on whether to proceed to the Republican legislation, a step that will have the Senate take the first procedural vote Wednesday.

McConnell will need 60 votes, including the support of at least seven Democrats, to overcome the hurdle. On Monday he urged Democrats to allow the bill to advance.

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"We read this: Senate Democrats are agonizing over what to do about Senate Republicans' police reform bill. What is there to agonize over?" McConnell asked.

"It seems to me that proceeding to consider Senator Scott's legislation, proceeding to take up the subject on the Senate floor would only be an agonizing prospect if members were more interested in making a point rather than in actually making a law," he added.

The GOP bill would try to incentivize police departments to ban chokeholds and includes new reporting on the use of force by police and the use of no-knock warrants. It also includes new penalties for not using body cameras, has new requirements on law enforcement records retention and would include a separate bill that makes lynching a federal hate crime.

But Democrats have warned that it does not go far enough to change the nation's law enforcement system after the death of George Floyd, who was killed after a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Unlike a Democratic bill it does not ban no-knock warrants for drug cases and it does not change qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that shields police officers from civil lawsuits.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Cruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday called the GOP bill "piecemeal and half hearted."

"The longer you look at the Republican policing reform effort, the more obvious the shortcoming and deficiencies," he added.