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: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE (I-Vt.). Sixty votes were need to overcome the procedural hurdle.
 
The amendment, offered by Sens. Tom CottonTom CottonMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ DHS chief takes heat over Trump furor Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising MORE (R-Ark.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector Senators unveil bipartisan push to deter future election interference Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE (R-Fla.) divided Senate Republicans, including potential 2016 presidential candidates. Rubio and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWith religious liberty memo, Trump made America free to be faithful again Interstate compacts aren't the right way to fix occupational licensing laws Texas Dem: ‘I don’t know what to believe’ about what Trump wants for wall MORE (R-Texas), who launched his presidential bid earlier this week, supported the amendment, while Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year Despite amnesty, DACA bill favors American wage-earners 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.