“I hope we can work something out, but in the meantime, I have no alternative as the leader of this Senate but to file cloture on this bill,” said Reid.

Minutes later, Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Billionaire Steyer to push for Dem House push Billionaire Steyer announces million for Dem House push MORE (D-Calif.), who is the sponsor of the EDA bill, came to the floor and said she feared the legislation would face “death by filibuster.”

“What are we doing loading down a beautiful bill like this with all sorts of amendments?” asked Boxer. “I would hate to see this die.”

Democrats argued that increased funding for the EDA could boost hiring and the economy.

Under the bill, S. 782, funding for the EDA would jump to $500 million through 2015, compared to just under $300 million in FY 2011.

The cloture vote on the legislation is not yet scheduled, and before leaving the floor Reid noted that there would be no more roll call votes this week.