July 21, 2020 / 5:09 PM / 15 days ago

U.S. Senate defeats bid to stop military equipment transfers to police

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate defeated a bid on Tuesday to bar the transfer of tear gas, armored vehicles and other weapons of war from the military to local police, sparked by concern over their use during anti-racism protests across the United States.

The 51-49 vote in favor of the amendment to bar such transfers fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance. Only a handful of Republicans joined Democrats in backing the measure.

“Our communities are not battlefields. The American people are not enemy combatants,” said Democratic Senator Brian Schatz, who offered the measure as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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