A bill to fund the Economic Development Administration (EDA), a measure Democrats characterized as a “jobs bill,” was stopped from advancing in the Senate Tuesday in a 49-51 vote.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was unable to find a path forward through nearly 100 mostly nongermane amendments offered by Republicans and Democrats.
Democrats also offered about 30 nongermane amendments to the bill.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), sponsor of the Public Works and Economic Development Administration funding bill, implored her colleagues prior to the vote to consider allowing the legislation to go through despite parochial interests expressed in the many amendments.
"This is a moment we can show we do what we say we are going to do,” said Boxer, referring to job creation. "I am hopeful this bill doesn't die today,"
Boxer pointed out that although the bill was about to be defeated it was "instructive that no one on the other side is speaking out against it." She noted that it was the content of the amendments that ensured the bill’s demise.
"There is one about lizards and another about prairie chickens," Boxer said. “Its fun, but it doesn't belong on a bill about jobs. "
On Monday, Reid recounted a list of some 40 amendments that dealt with subjects including immigration reform, E-Verify, the estate tax, right-to-work laws, gainful employment regulation, endangered species and light bulbs.
Democratic leadership has grown increasingly frustrated in recent weeks as Republican senators have gummed up the Senate’s processes by taking advantage of a deal forged early in the year that allows unlimited amendments to any legislation on the floor.
Earlier in the year a bill that would have funded the Small Business Administration (SBA) also died on the floor under similar circumstances.