The U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to advance a defense spending bill, with Democratic leaders citing President Trumps military funding over the border wall.
The package of spending was intended for the Department of Defense and departments of Labor, Health and Human Services. Most Democrat withheld their support and the vote was 51-41, falling short of the 60-vote threshold.
“The Republican leader has been accusing Democrats of threatening to block military funding. Now, that is an absurd statement if there ever was one. Were simply trying to stop Republicans from stealing money from our military and putting it into the wall,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated before the vote was held, according to The Hill.
Republicans slammed the Democrats in the Senate for blocking the passage of the bill.
“The same Democrats who recently rediscovered hawkish sounding positions on Syria and the Middle East are really going to filibuster a $755 million for the counter-ISIS train and equip fund for Iraq and Syria? And filibuster all the other broader funding of our armed services? Really?” Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked, as reported the news outlet.
The “core message here is hard to miss,” he said, adding that “Democratic colleagues have a priority list, picking fights with the White House is priority No. 1.”
The Senate Appropriations Committees top Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy, noted that his party would oppose the spending bill because it shifts money to the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
“We oppose this bill because we are fighting to protect funding for the men and women in uniform,” said Leahy (D-Vt.), according to Defense News.
This week, White House officials met with Republican and Democratic aides from both the House and Senate over the funding issues, Politico reported.