(CNN) – In yet another sign that Congress is headed for a clash in the fall over government spending, Senate Republicans Thursday blocked a transportation and housing bill, arguing it would break budget spending caps.
It was a significant defeat for Democrats and a win for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who persuaded several Republicans who had previously voted to support the higher spending level to change their positions and vote to block the bill.
"We think this vote is of symbolical significance going into the fall when we will have, obviously, the inevitable discussion about how to fund the government," McConnell said.
Senate Democrats and House Republicans disagree on how much money should be available to fund the various agencies of government. Republicans want spending for next year to reflect the automatic spending cuts required by the sequester. Democrats, who believe those cuts are hurting job creation, want to reverse them and spend at a higher level.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was "terribly disappointed" by the vote.
"I can't understand why Republican leadership over here would twist arms to derail a bipartisan bill that creates jobs all over America," he said.
The vote came a day after House GOP leaders pulled their chamber's version of the bill. They said there wasn't enough time to finish the measure before the summer break, but there were also questions about whether there were enough votes to pass it. In the House, moderate Republicans joined Democrats in opposing deeper spending cuts.
House Republican Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers issued an unusually blunt statement saying the decision by GOP leaders to yank the bill meant the chances for passing it in September were "bleak at best."
In the Senate, Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican to support the bill even though six supported it when it passed out of committee and 19 voted to begin debate on the floor.
Shortly before the vote, Collins struggled to be heard over the din of her colleagues as she rose to speak in favor of the bill.
In a sign of how high tensions are in the Senate just before senators leave for the five week break, Reid angrily instructed Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, who was presiding, to get order.
"Have the senators sit down and shut up, okay," Reid yelled with frustration. "It's unfair."
Ironically, immediately after the vote, most senators went to bipartisan caucus, which was aimed at improving relations between the two parties. Barbeque was served.
"Everybody talked with those at their tables and we flip-flopped tables and switched around," said Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, an organizer of the second annual event. "It's been a good effort to get people to break bread together and talk together and find common ground."
Enough. Throw these DO-NOTHING bums out.
The Guns Over People Shutdown Government tea potty look like the Keystone cops. 2014 comes quickly for them.
It's beginning to look like the only time these dopes talk to each other is when they are being fed.
"Break bread" together? What a joke.
The Do Nothing congress does Nothing again! VOTE THEM OUT!
Very pathetic GOP idiots. They spend on WARS–not on infrastructure? Education? Energy?
as long as the repugs have a government job and free medical ins. they could not care less for anybody else.
Its amazing...Republicans celebrate the defeat and obstruction of bills...never in my life have I rver seen more fools in one ship...the sad part is more people voted for democrats thsn republicans in congress, but congress holds a strong majority....oh yes, they celebrate gerrymandering as well...what a platform
Rethugs/teatrolls, please just go on your month long vacation paid for by our taxes. We need relie from our number 9 on the list of worst traffic areas.
Don't let the door hit you on the way out and y'all don't come back, hear?
"It was a significant defeat for Democrats and a win for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky," You got it backwards, it's a significant defeat for McConnell who will be ousted from KY soon. Can't wait until he's gone
It seems simple to diagnose this problem: The GOP is addicted to chaos and dysfunction- an unfortunate combination of traits for people who claim they want to run this great nation.
but magically they found $30bil for border protection to keep the people of Mexico out of the land that was originally theirs...
The GOP is intentionally blocking legislation that creates jobs.
The GOP will be taken to task in the 2014 mid-terms. And the White House will be a pipe dream for years to come. So thanks, GOP for making it easier for the democrats to secure victories when it counts. i.e. general elections.
ive lived with very little all my life to struggle is a norm for me
Will Americans Please vote these Obstructionist Teapublicans out of office asap.
The Democrats are trying to do an end around the Sequestration. The president pushed for sequestration for a reason – to reign in spending. The Republicans were right to hold the Democrats to that.
Hahahaha. They think its a defeat for democrats and a win for GOP? Wait until the midterm where we can tout that the GOP doesn't want to help the those Americans stuck in a housing cries or these aging transportation systems witch can result in a horrible accident (bridge collapse, train derailments, ect). Then we'll see who won. See you in 14 months when the Dem take Supermajority control of the senate and a majority in the house. We will pass tax reform and stop cutting funding to vital programs and spend money on manufacturing, infrastructure and education and legalize gay marriage and creating more backround checks and banning automated weapons. And theirs nothing they will be able to do about it.
But they will be on vacation for the rest of the summer. What a worthless bunch of individuals.
I expect that when the rubber meets the road this fall, moderate Republicans will join the Democrats in bipartisan negotiations to get a bill to raise the debt limit and to pass an interim spending authorization. This is bluster for the sake of bargaining position. If it is not, Republicans will lose badly in 2014 and they know it..
I could say good luck with that, but it won't do any good as long as Republicans like Mitch McConnell are calling the shots.
Republicans are sheer garbage, they are the enemies of the people.
the GOP will soon be irrelevant! they have done nothing but waste money on things like repealing healthcare 39 times! GOP=irrelevant!
I guess they don't realize that our broken infrastructure costs businesses and economy billions each year.
Thank God that Mitch McConnell has seen his last days in the Senate. He is being voted out of office soon. God hates Mitch McConnell and so does every turtle in the sea because heaven knows Mitchy Boy the GOP hack loser, looks more like a turtle than real turtles do. Plus, due to his age and stress he probably will die soon too. Thank you Jesus.