Rubio's push for higher defense spending falls short

Senators blocked an amendment Thursday that would have increased defense spending above congressionally mandated budget caps. 

Senators voted 32-68 on overriding a "point of order" placed on the amendment by Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Rasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.). Sixty votes were need to overcome the procedural hurdle.
 
The amendment, offered by Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonBipartisan group introduces retirement savings legislation in Senate Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Hillicon Valley: DOJ appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | FBI agent testifies in heated hearing | Uproar after FCC changes rules on consumer complaints | Broadcom makes bid for another US company | Facebook under fire over conspiracy sites MORE (R-Ark.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash Senate adds members to pro-NATO group McConnell reassures Europe on Russia MORE (R-Fla.) divided Senate Republicans, including potential 2016 presidential candidates. Rubio and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke calls for Trump's impeachment over Putin summit Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems The Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK MORE (R-Texas), who launched his presidential bid earlier this week, supported the amendment, while Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Nation editor: Reaction by most of the media to Trump-Putin press conference 'is like mob violence' Lewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace Rand Paul to travel to Russia after downplaying election meddling MORE (R-Ky.) voted against it. 
 
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The amendment would have swapped out the fiscal 2016 defense budget numbers with projected numbers included in former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's fiscal 2012 defense budget. 
 
"This is a pretty simple amendment, it funds defense fully," Rubio said ahead of the vote. "It puts us at the Gates budget number ... that fully funds the needs of our military." 
 
Sanders slammed the Republicans' amendment, calling it "remarkable." 
 
"This is truly a remarkable amendment because it runs directly in opposition to what the Republicans have been talking about," Sanders said, referring to Republicans' pledge to balance the budget and shrink the deficit. "Enough is enough, if you want to go to war, start paying for it." 
 
The Pentagon's 2012 budget projected the department would need $661 billion in fiscal 2016, according to a summary of the budget released by the department.  
 
R epublicans on the Senate Budget Committee bolstered the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) by $38 billion last week. Rubio said Tuesday that while he respects the committee's work, he believes senators need to debate defense spending. 
 
"I respect the work they've done, and ultimately, that might be where we wind up," Rubio said from the Senate floor, but he added that senators need "a serious debate" on defense spending.