By Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A bill by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey to bar federal grants from sanctuary cities including Philadelphia is being rejected in a contentious election-year immigration vote.

Wednesday’s 53-to-44 Senate vote was shy of the 60 required to move to a final vote. Toomey, a Republican, has tried to make sanctuary cities a wedge issue in his race against Democratic challenger Katie McGinty.

Toomey casts his bill as encouraging greater cooperation from police in detaining undocumented immigrants, in part by protecting police against the threat of a costly lawsuit.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Sen. Bob Casey opposed the bill and says there’s already significant cooperation between Philadelphia and federal law enforcement.

McGinty also opposed Toomey’s bill, but urged Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to forge an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security. Kenney accuses Toomey of fearmongering.

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