Republicans block Senate work to protest lack of progress on debt talks

"I realize this is a very important issue, and I understand that a number of my colleagues have worked very hard to bring this issue to the floor," Johnson said. "But the fact of the matter is it simply doesn't address the fact that we're bankrupting this nation. So, Mr. President, I do object."

After that, Reid said the Senate would remain in a period of morning business, and said no votes would be held until next Tuesday. Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezWarren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Dem senator: Louisiana Republican 'found Jesus' on flood funding MORE (D-N.J.) immediately took to the floor to blast the Republican decision to block work on these two issues as "amazing" and "outrageous."

"I hear a lot about wanting to get the people's work done but then I hear objections to trying to move to try to get the people's work done," Menendez said. "So, pretty outrageous."

But several Republicans took the floor, led by Johnson, and complained that while President Obama criticized Congress for not reaching a solution on the debt ceiling, neither Obama nor Vice President Biden is around to engage in talks.

Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWhat the 'Bernie Sanders wing of the GOP' can teach Congress GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election How low is the bar for presidential candidates, anyway? MORE (R-Ky.) noted that Obama is in Philadelphia at a fundraiser, and Biden in is Las Vegas for a fundraiser.

"If he's going to go on national television and chastise us not for doing work, we're here saying we want to be working on the nation's problems," Paul said. "Where is the president? Campaigning."

Sen. David VitterDavid VitterDavid Duke gets debate slot in La. Senate race GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (R-La.) said Senate Republicans wrote Reid a letter Thursday asking him when Democrats would put "serious bills" on the floor to address spending and debt, when the Senate Budget Committee will meet to work on a budget proposal, when a spending cap bill might be put on the floor, and when a balanced-budget amendment could be considered.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said Democratic objections to spending cuts shows they are "addicted" to spending.

"Washington is addicted to spending, and the addict in chief is President Obama," he said. "He's promised many times to quit, to quit spending, to live within our means, but he keeps falling off the wagon. And now, for the fourth time since he's been president, he's asking Congress to refill the bottle so that he can keep spending, keep borrowing, and keep increasing America's debt."

-- This story was updated at 4:03 p.m.