A divided Senate on Thursday derailed Democratic legislation providing $21 billion for medical, education and job-training benefits for the nation’s veterans, as the bill fell victim to election-year disputes over spending and whether to slap sanctions on Iran.
Twenty-seven liberal groups are pressuring Senate Democrats to reject one of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees.
Senate Republicans accused Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) of trying to “jam” through legislation and nominations as some members of Congress look to head home before the Christmas holiday.
Fresh from shackling the traditional blocking ability of the Senate’s minority party, Democrats are ready to muscle through President Barack Obama’s nominees for pivotal judgeships and other top jobs.
The Democratic-led Senate will only give President Barack Obama until next month before pressing ahead with new Iran sanctions.
The Senate is nearing a potential showdown on curbing the power that the Republican minority has to block President Barack Obama’s nominations, as Democrats edge toward muscling a rewrite of filibuster rules through the chamber.
Democrats controlling the Senate proposed Tuesday to avoid future showdowns over the so-called debt ceiling by giving the president authority to authorize additional federal borrowing unless Congress can muster veto-proof margins to block him.
Democrats controlling the Senate are pushing to spending billions of dollars more than their House GOP rivals on transportation and housing programs despite tough budget limits that promise to roll the increases back.
With efforts on a broader budget deal foundering, Senate Democrats moved ahead Thursday with spending bills that ignore a second year of spending cuts mandated under the 2011 budget and debt deal.