Senate Republicans block spending bill, another sign of trouble in the fall
August 1st, 2013
06:11 PM ET
9 months ago

Senate Republicans block spending bill, another sign of trouble in the fall

(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."


Filed under: Congress • Senate
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. labman57

    Doing what they do best, today's GOP stands for "Greedy, Obstructionistic, and Petty".

    August 1, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. jettermon

    So are republicans conceding that they're the ones who are causing the sequester now? Republicans were all "obamaquester". But now they're the ones blocking efforts to overturn it. Don't they get it. This is why they poll at 10%

    August 1, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. Jm

    They will continue to destroy the country

    August 1, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. Name Uche Agonsi

    what goes around comes around. If the Obama Administration has to face 8years battling this Republicans inflicted econmic slump, & assuming (just assumption) these Repubs win the next presidency to throw their so-called Ryan's econmic plan on board for another 8years, sure America will rot the way Britain is rotting now or worse, with China smiling robustly with communism. It would be a great world of business for the Repubs. Whats the joy in inflicting harm on the American economy & people, only to blame Obama & win election.

    August 1, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Dixie

    Maybe this should happen more often to open up some common lines of communication. Starting when everyone comes back from break. Maybe the House should try it too. Sure couldn't hurt and it might help.

    August 1, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  6. enrkn

    Time to get rid of senate republicans

    August 1, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Old Salt

    The key words here are "Republicans block". This has become the new mantra for the GOP. Just say no. doesn't matter the subject. Just say no. Doesn't matter the harm it might do the country. Just say no. It's actually a good thing that party is so splintered. That will relegate them to the political backwaters they so richly deserve.

    August 1, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  8. independant jim

    another defeat for the middle class

    August 1, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  9. Jimh77

    "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.

    Simple Answer, THE GOP HATES AMERICANS. Want a better answer? Re-read the story.

    August 1, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. Lenny

    Mitch is going to have his way, if it causes the entire economic system of the western hemisphere to collapse.

    August 1, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    How much of this do we need to put up with before we start talking about a revolution?

    August 1, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  12. Chooch0253

    "We think this vote is of symbolical significance" Exactly why turtle head and the rest of Republicans need to be voted out of office. They are more concerned with "symbolic" actions than they are with actually legislating and moving the country forward. They were elected to legislate not to make symbolic gestures. How any person with more than 100 functional brain cells can support these low life treasonous dirtbags defies logic.

    August 1, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  13. roro

    The Republicans are committed to destroying Obama and the nation along with him. They are willing to destroy the economy because they just can't stand Obama getting any credit for, or help with, anything. They object to anything he proposes even if they have proposed the same thing in the past. Their actions are treasonous. If they refuse to pay the bills they have already racked up, and wind up shutting down the government as they are threatening to do, they need to be thrown out in 2014.

    August 1, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  14. Michael Benjamin

    It's payback for ramming through the Obama cabinet nominations.

    August 1, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  15. SE-Texas

    Since the Republicans are in the minority, there must have been some Bipartisan Support for this. HMMM

    August 2, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  16. Catherine

    "Sit down and shut up"?????? Nice Harry Nice

    August 2, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  17. Nodack

    Big surprise

    August 2, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  18. TJEFF1776

    Hard to interpret wherein the blame game begins and ends. Methinks the GOP is back to "NO" again. Mitch doesn't even
    say "yes" to his own wife.

    August 2, 2013 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  19. Navin Jay

    But, wait, I didn't see them blocking their ow raises at the beginning of the year. That would have saved the government money. Or, saying no to health benefits from the government. The only time a Republicans will care about the poor is if he is poor himself. Meaning they will NEVER care.

    August 2, 2013 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  20. Michael Hobart

    And the Senate is taking yet another long vacation rather than doing any of the work they were hired to do. Sigh...

    August 2, 2013 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  21. Jack

    If the Republicans want to finish shooting themselves in the foot, just block another spending bill!

    August 2, 2013 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  22. Donkey Party

    The GOP hates America, and wants to see us fail as badly as Al Queda does. How anyone is stupid enough to vote for them is beyond all reason.

    August 2, 2013 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  23. Tigas

    How can the Obama administration continue it's efforts to run the country into the ground if those obstructionist Republicans keep blocking Obama's run away spending?!
    $7 billion pledged to Africa, why not promise another $10 billion to Antarctica?

    August 2, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  24. NamBrittee

    Not suprized. They are a bunch of loosers.

    August 2, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  25. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Turtle McConnell has been scared to death by the tea potty. He has a 60 % disapproval rating in KY. 2014 comes quickly for he and the entire Guns Over People Shutdown Government tea potty.

    August 2, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
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