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June 24, 2014: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada heads to speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.AP

WASHINGTON – A fear of voting has gripped Democratic leaders in the Senate, slowing the chamber's modest productivity this election season to a near halt.

With control of the Senate at risk in November, leaders are going to remarkable lengths to protect endangered Democrats from casting tough votes and to deny Republicans legislative victories in the midst of the campaign.

The phobia means even bipartisan legislation to boost energy efficiency, manufacturing, sportsmen's rights and more could be scuttled.

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The Senate's masters of process are finding a variety of ways to shut down debate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

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