Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday blocked Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief urges Congress to approve budget boost | Senate fight over NATO addition Defying Trump, Freedom Caucus insists it'll oppose GOP ObamaCare replacement ObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote MORE (R-Ky.) from attaching an amendment to the farm bill that would withhold U.S. aid to Pakistan.
Reid asked for unanimous consent Tuesday to consider a batch of five amendments to the farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S.3240), but Paul objected, arguing that his amendment on withholding aid to Pakistan should also be included.
In response, Reid performed a procedural move called “filling the tree,” or taking up all the amendment space, to keep Paul's amendment from being considered.
The amendment would have defunded U.S. aid to Pakistan until the country frees an imprisoned doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden.
Reid said the farm bill is not the place for dealing with Pakistan and urged Paul to work with him on pressuring the country through other legislation.
Reid said the Senate is working on a bill “that just does not allow something like that to come forward."
"I would like to work with him in the future, and I'm sure a number of other senators would to focus on our relations with Pakistan," Reid said, referring to Paul. "So, I would say to my friend that he doesn't stand alone in his concern, but there has to be a time and place for everything, and hopefully we can have a full debate on Pakistan in the near future."
By filling the tree, Reid blocked Paul or other senators from attaching amendments to the farm bill. Senators will have to come to an agreement on amendments or Reid will have to file cloture in order to attach more amendments to the bill.
Now, the Senate is set to hold two symbolic votes on Wednesday on two matters in the farm bill, one on food stamps and one on a U.S. sugar quota. Sens. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowRNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Five things to watch for in Supreme Court showdown Red-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker MORE (D-Mich.) and Pat RobertsPat Roberts Where hunger is a weapon of war, food fights back Pressure mounts for changes to ObamaCare bill Trump's Agriculture pick should pop Big Organic's bubble MORE (R-Kan.), the co-sponsors of the farm bill, said that they would still try to find a "global agreement" on amendments to the farm bill.
Specifically, senators will vote to table the two amendments on Wednesday. One, by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate Lawmakers want Trump commitment to help Iraq post-ISIS Overnight Defense: FBI chief confirms Trump campaign, Russia probe | Senators push for Afghan visas | Problems persist at veterans' suicide hotline MORE (D-N.H.) lowers the loan rate for producers of sugar beet crops. The other, by Paul, replaces the federal food stamp program with a state block grant system.
Reid said he had "not given up hope" for reaching a "universal agreement" on the more than 100 farm bill amendments senators had already introduced for consideration.
If the chamber does not reach an agreement on which amendments to consider, the farm bill could stall despite strong bipartisan support.
The five original amendments Reid offered before Paul objected were a motion to recommit by Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeRepublicans should seize the moment and repeal ObamaCare now ObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (R-Utah), the amendments on food stamps by Paul, the Shaheen amendment, and two amendments by Sens. Tom CoburnTom CoburnDon't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways MORE (R-Okla.) and Maria CantwellMaria CantwellSenators want more security funding for Jewish centers Senate passes bill ending Obama-era land rule Senate Dems introduce bill to block Trump's revised travel order MORE (D-Wash.). The texts for the Coburn and Cantwell amendments were not immediately available.
—Erik Wasson contributed reporting.
This story was updated at 7:23 p.m.