Senate leaders could not agree Thursday on an amendment process to a “minibus” spending bill that aims to fund parts of the government after September.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason Reid2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again Panel: How Biden's gaffes could cost him against Trump MORE (D-Nev.) tried to get unanimous consent to hold votes on germane amendments to the three appropriations bills as long as passage was held to a 60-vote threshold. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“Senators on both sides have said they want to have amendments and we should have amendment votes,” Reid said. “We’re going to have the ability to offer germane amendments and we will follow the ‘McConnell rule’ and hold amendments to 60 votes.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report MORE (R-Ky.) objected, saying only controversial amendments should be held to a 60-vote threshold.

“We’re being shut out of amendments,” McConnell said. “When will we start legislating again?”

The Senate is now officially considering H.R. 4660, a $120 billion “minibus” spending bill that funds the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. But it seems unlikely that progress will be made on the legislation until an amendment process agreement is reached. 

Earlier this week, the Senate voted 95-3 to end debate on the motion to proceed, but Republicans have complained that Reid has allowed only nine votes on Republican amendments since last July.

"I’ve never seen the majority stifling amendments like they are right now," Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) said. "It’s pathetic and it’s got to change."

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Md.) and ranking member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) will likely spend the weekend trying to figure out a way to proceed.