Third time not a charm: Extenders fails

"We will move to the small business bill," he told reporters earlier Thursday, adding that without Republican support he will never be able to move the bill from his chamber. 

"It's up to them," he said. 

Republicans' chief concern with the bill is that it added to the deficit.

Thursday's failed vote illustrates the extent to which fears about the deficit are now dominating the legislation process. Senate Finance Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusOvernight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms Congress gives McCain the highest honor Judge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester MORE (D-Mont.), moments before the vote, said that deficit concerns have made passing legislation much tougher. 

Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) told The Hill the votes on extenders should be a wake up call to Democrats that deficits will probably determine the fate of future legislation. 

"Things have changed," he said. "The deficit is a big, big deal, and we're at the point right now to where taxes and borrowing could send us over the cliff as far as I'm concerned."

If Reid does not allow any the more pressing measures in the extender bill to be moved onto the small business bill, lobbyists believe the Senate might wait until the lame duck session to try and pass it again. They reason that with the election behind them, some Republicans could be swayed into supporting a bill that is not fully offset.