With just four days to go before the government runs out of money to operate, Democrats helped block a short-term spending measure from moving forward Tuesday afternoon in the Senate because the legislation did not include funding to help the community of Flint, Michigan, recover from a lead water crisis that it has been grappling with for more than two years.
"Would it be asking too much for the Speaker of the House, the Republican leader of the Senate, to stand and say, we're going to get that thing done, we're going to pass it, we're going to make sure that the bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is going to become law? But they ignore that. They ignore the people of Flint," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said on the floor of the Senate Tuesday morning ahead of the vote.
Senators voted 55 to 45 to move the measure forward, but it needed 60 votes to advance under Senate rules. The failure opened up serious questions about how members will be able to come together to fund the government before the clock runs out.
"We want to go back to the drawing boards," said Sen, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Senate's Appropriations Bill. "The clock is ticking. I think we can come to an agreement on the money now we just have to get rid of the poison pill riders."
There were four Democrats who voted to move the measure, known as a continuing resolution, forward. There were 13 Republicans who voted to block the legislation.
Read More →