The bipartisan spirit that allowed a unanimous vote to start considering the DOD spending bill, S 1197, fell apart this afternoon when an attempt was made to end debate on the endless amendments and start voting on amendments and the bill. The Cloture vote failed 51 – 41 (60 ayes required for passage) along party lines.
While there had been some disagreement on the number of amendments that would be considered, it was the move by Sen. Reid to change the voting rules on the consideration of appointments that sealed the fate on the chance to get this bill to a final Senate vote before the Thanksgiving recess.
In a common parliamentary move, Reid actually voted against the bill. This will allow him to ask for reconsideration of the cloture vote. A successful vote then would allow the Senate to move forward on the voting process. This move is unlikely to be used this week as it is unlikely that the Republicans will be cooled down enough to accept cloture.
Failure to pass this bill before the Thanksgiving break makes it very difficult to get it passed and into conference with the House and then back to the floor for votes before the end of the year. As December advances, more effort will be made to get the consolidated spending bill complete, putting this DOD bill on the back burner. It isn’t yet impossible; it’s just getting more unlikely.