Senate defeats attempt to sink VA funding bill

"That's clearly putting the cart before the horse and clearly having things backwards in a dysfunctional process," Vitter said.

Vitter ran into opposition from Democrats and some Republicans. 

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said Tuesday that Vitter’s objection ought to be waved since the VA funding bill adheres to a budget proposal put forth by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). That plan passed the Republican controlled House but failed in the Senate earlier this year.

"I would put forward that this bill is rather unique because it conforms to the budget," said Kirk. "It conforms to the Paul Ryan budget that passed the House on April 15."

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, last week launched a similar protest against the legislation. He argued budgetary rules prohibit the Senate from taking up appropriations work without first passing a budget. His point-of-order protest was quashed 56-40.

The legislation in question is H.R. 2055, the Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies appropriations bill. It would increase funding for the VA by 5.8 percent and cut military construction spending by $2.6 billion to reflect anticipated base closures and realignments.