By Vicki Needham - 12/17/10 12:57 AM EST
Without an agreement in hand, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he'd work to complete a short-term continuing resolution instead of a yearlong bill, which would run through the fiscal year Sept. 30, before the current funding expires Saturday night.
Reid decided he wouldn't file cloture on a $1.108 trillion yearlong omnibus spending bill on Thursday night after realizing he didn't have the votes.
Reid said he had the backing of nine Republicans on the measure but had they defected, leaving the measure short of the support needed to move forward. He said he would work with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on a bill that can pass the chamber before time runs out Saturday.
He questioned why Republicans would want to cede spending power to the executive branch.
Senate Democrats — Appropriations panel members Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.) — said they worked with their respective Republican counterparts in putting together the measure and expressed surprise that Republicans were refusing to take up the measure.
McConnell argued that while he recognized the Appropriations committee's work on the measure, he said the bill needed more consideration on the Senate floor.
During the past couple of days, Senate Republicans and Democrats had sparred over $8 billion in earmarks in the bill. Several Republicans, including John Cornyn (Texas) and John Thune (S.D.) have tried to argue around their opposition to earmarks while authoring some of those included in the bill.