Washington (CNN) - Fallout from last year's fight over filibuster rules in the Senate is still being felt on Capitol Hill.
Senators had hoped to finish their work and begin a two week spring recess Thursday but instead ran into a roadblock when Democrats and Republicans clashed over whether to quickly confirm two presidential nominees before leaving.
In a spirited back-and-forth, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sparred with his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other GOP leaders over who was to blame for the slow pace of clearing executive and judicial nominations. A frustrated Reid called all senators to the chamber to complain Republicans were using parliamentary rules to require up to 30 hours of debate on a judicial nominee yet no one had taken the floor to speak.
"Why in the world would we want to waste 30 hours?" Reid asked. "That's what we're doing."
He asked for immediate votes on Michelle Friedland to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and another nominee, David Weil, to be the Administrator of the Hour and Wage division at the Department of Labor.
Republicans, who were frustrated Reid set up votes on the nominees on the day they were preparing to leave town, rejected the proposal and offered instead to hold the votes when senators return from recess–something Reid refused to accept.
Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said Democrats poisoned the atmosphere when they changed Senate filibuster over the objections of Republicans.
"We're working under the rules that the majority changed by ignoring the rules of the United States Senate in November," Grassley bellowed.
McConnell said Reid "broke his word" when the rules were changed and blasted him for routinely refusing to allow Republicans to offer floor amendments.
"Despite his heavy handed behavior he expects the minority to simply expedite, in the case of the mater we're discussing, lifetime appointments," McConnell complained. "We're simply exercising our rights under the rules of the Senate."
Reid accused Republicans of purposely slowing down the Senate in an effort to win control of it in the upcoming mid-term elections.
"Never in the history of our great republic have we had a party, a minority party, that is determined to do nothing, hoping it will get them the majority in November," he said.
Unable to reach a compromise, Reid scheduled votes on the nominees for Friday at 5 p.m. ET.