Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a mammoth defense policy bill, throwing the legislation into limbo as Congress heads into a packed year-end schedule.
The Senate voted 45-51 to start winding down debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets spending levels and policy for the Pentagon. But that is short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the hurdle.
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) was the only Republican to vote with Democrats to advance the bill, while Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) voted against moving forward along with 46 GOP senators.
The setback comes amid a stalemate on allowing votes on amendments to the bill. Leadership previously got a deal before the Thanksgiving recess to allow for 18 amendment votes, but that agreement was blocked by several Republicans who didn’t get their own proposals included.