Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-Ky.) engineered the coup, surprising Democrats by urging his GOP colleagues to oppose a motion to turn to the bipartisan 21st Century Postal Service Act. McConnell said he wanted the Senate to continue debate on the oil tax bill, which he, and most Republicans oppose. 

"Republicans are happy to use this opportunity to talk about some of those things," said McConnell, speaking from the floor.  “[W]e’re now hearing that the Democrats want to move off this tax hike legislation… we’re certainly not going to make a difference if we keep flitting from one issue to another."

ADVERTISEMENT

Following McConnell’s floor comments the Senate voted down the cloture motion on the postal reform bill, 51-46. Thirty-nine Republicans and seven Democrats voted to keep the legislation from the floor. 

Despite the postal reform bill’s failure on Tuesday, it is likely the Senate will take it up after the break which is set to begin on Thursday or Friday.

The legislation, written by Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsLooking to the past to secure America's clean energy future Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike MORE (R-Maine) would reduce operating costs for the Postal Service by about $8 billion by directing the postmaster general to reduce the workforce and cause reductions in infrastructure to properly reflect the decreased demand that has resulted from the rapid expansion of communication technology. The plan would also seek to raise revenue by allowing the Post Office to ship products currently banned, like wine and beer.

Collins and other East Coast senators including Bernie SandersBernie SandersIn Washington, the road almost never taken Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (I-Vt.) argued from the floor during the last several weeks that the pending bill would also derail Postmaster General Patrick Donahue's reform plan, which they said would result in the abrupt closure of 200 postal plants at the cost of up to 32,000 jobs. 

"His proposal for the Post Office, would become an unmitigated disaster for out country and especially, for rural America," said Sanders, speaking from the Senate floor just before the vote.