By Ramsey Cox
Senate Republicans blocked a $2.7 billion border spending bill Thursday in a 50-44 vote.
The Senate voted against waiving a budget point of order on the measure, which would have provided funding for authorities to handle a wave of child immigrants crossing the border.
Democrats decried Republicans for not allowing the bill to pass, while Republicans slammed Democrats for not allowing them to offer amendments.
“We’re no longer the greatest deliberative body. We’re the greatest delaying body in the world,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said. “We’re facing a really serious problem in our country. … Certainly we can deal with 60,000 children.”
“I say shame on you for failing to let senators from the states most affected to offer amendments,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said ahead of the vote. “Not a single one.”
The House might still approve legislation on Friday responding to the border, but Congress is not going to send legislation to President Obama's desk, despite his request for a $3.7 billion bill.
The Senate border bill included $615 million in emergency funding to combat wildfires in the West and $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system, bringing the total cost of the legislation to more than $3.57 billion.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) then tried to pass emergency funding bills just for wildfires and the Iron Dome through unanimous consent, but Republicans still objected.
Republicans wanted to offer immigration reform amendments to the bill, including amending a 2008 human trafficking law to make it easier to deport Central American children crossing the border.