Florida Sens. Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D) as well as Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), however, objected on grounds that such a provision violated Senate rules that prohibits appropriations bills from containing legislative language. The three senators also argued that the dictatorial ruling regime in Cuba is teetering and that lowering trade barriers could bolster its grip on power.
The parliamentarian sustained the senators’ objection and Reid quickly offered a second version of the legislation without the Cuba measure that included number of minor changes including one that would ensure all amendments remain germane.
That version however was shot down by Sen. Jim Moran (R-Kan.), the author of the Cuba provision, who commented that the new version was not the version that had come out of commitee. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) also objected, complaining that bill spent too much and would fund abortion in Washington D.C. and around the world.
Because Reid could not find agreement on keeping the amendments germane, he "filled the tree" before attaching clean versions of the spending bill to the water and energy bill.