(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is lambasting Republican Sen. Rand Paul for injecting a last-minute debate over abortion into a bipartisan attempt to pass flood insurance legislation.
"After all the work that's been put on this bill, this is ridiculous that somebody said 'I'm not going to let this bill go forward unless I have a vote on when life begins.'" Reid said Tuesday on the Senate floor.
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On Monday, Paul introduced the amendment, which calls for defining life as beginning at conception. The bill at large would re-authorize the National Flood Insurance Program, a federal entity that offers flood insurance to more than 5 million homes.
Paul's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on why he proposed the amendment.
While the bill was set to soon pass with bipartisan approval, Reid said he will no longer allow a vote on the measure as long as the amendment stands.
"We'll either do flood insurance with amendments dealing with flood insurance-or we won't do it," Reid said. "We'll have an extension."
It's not uncommon for lawmakers to tack on non-relevant amendments to bills, but the highly-charged amendment Paul chose was one step too far, Reid said. And given that some of the bill's biggest proponents are Republicans, Paul may face pressure to back down on the amendment.
"They better work on their side of the aisle, because I'm not going to put up with that on flood insurance," Reid said.
He also pointed to a controversial amendment for the so-called highway bill in February. The provision called for a repeal of a federal mandate that required some religious institutions to cover contraception in insurance plans for employees.
After weeks of escalating debate over contraception, the Obama administration adjusted the mandate, and the Senate amendment was killed in March.
"I don't understand what this is all about," Reid said.
- CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.
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Rand Paul is a d ouche bag and so are the re ta rds that voted him to the Senate, which is "supposedly" the clear headed bunch of Congress, pfft.
How about the squeekie wheel gets replaced? This wacko just wants his name in the news so he can say he's doing something....then he gets other crazy's to send him money because he's annoying Reid!!! No wonder we have a mess.....
maybe we should determine that life begins once the sperm cell leaves the body. I bet if that happens a lot of certain practices that many of the GOPers like to do in private would either end or they would not accept the bill. Which one do you think they would do?