A procedural vote to advance the fiscal year 2020 defense appropriations bill failed Thursday in the Senate.
Most Democrats object to spending DOD money to build a wall for the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Apparently [Democrats] are not concerned enough about the Middle East and fighting ISIS to actually vote for the funding that keeps those missions going,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
But the top Democratic appropriator called the bill a “short-sighted cash grab,” according to Defense News.
“We oppose this bill because we are fighting to protect funding for the men and women in uniform,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said.
Despite Congress’ inability to agree on spending bills for DOD and other departments, there is some optimism that appropriators will make progress soon. House and Senate leaders must start by agreeing on how much money to allocate to each of the 12 spending bills.
“We’re talking now, and we made that step today,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said. “But that is a step.”
The federal government is operating under a continuing resolution that expires Nov. 21.