Paul thwarted in bid to boost defense spending
© Getty Images

A bid from Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCivil rights group marks MLK Day with call for 'Trump card' national ID Pressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal House Republicans call for moving State of the Union to Senate chamber MORE (R-Ky.) to increase defense spending was turned aside in the Senate on Thursday.

Senators voted 4-96 on overriding a point of order Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) Sanders2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Sanders knocks Trump in MLK Day speech Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices MORE (I-Vt.) raised on Paul's amendment. Sixty votes were needed to overcome the procedural hurdle. Republican Sens. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Senate GOP eyes 'nuclear option' for Trump nominees next week Taiwan’s President Tsai should be invited to address Congress MORE (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziSenate passes criminal justice overhaul, handing Trump a win Senate votes to end debate on criminal justice reform bill America needs more accountants in Congress MORE (Wyo.) and David VitterDavid Bruce VitterTop 5 races to watch in 2019 Louisiana congressman to challenge Dem Gov Kennedy says he won't run for Louisiana governor next year MORE (La.) voted to move forward with Paul's amendment. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Paul, a likely presidential candidate in 2016, said ahead of the vote that he wanted to pay for the $190 billion increase in defense funds "with spending cuts." 

"It is irresponsible and dangerous to continue to put America further into debt even for something we need. We need national defense, but we should pay for it," he said ahead of the vote. "America does not project power from bankruptcy court." 

Sanders slammed Paul's amendment, saying the additional cuts would be "devastating to the working families in this country." 

Paul's amendment followed a vote on an amendment from Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOn The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (R-Ark.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRussian oligarch, allies retain key ownership in company after sanctions lifted: report Senate GOP eyes 'nuclear option' for Trump nominees next week Washington fears new threat from 'deepfake' videos MORE (R-Fla.), another 2016 contender, that also would have increased defense spending. Paul voted against that amendment, and it failed.