WASHINGTON (PNN) - October 28, 2019 - The Senate on Monday rejected an effort by Senator Rand Paul (Kent.) to place an across-the-board spending cut in a domestic funding package being debated by lawmakers.
Senators voted 24-67 on the amendment from Paul, which would reduce spending by 2% compared to fiscal 2019 levels.
The amendment, had Paul been successful, would have been added to a spending package that includes commerce, science and justice; transportation and housing and urban development; agriculture; and interior.
Senator Patrick Leahy (Ver.), the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, urged senators to oppose Paul's amendment.
"His amendment will slash spending below the bipartisan budget act that we all negotiated," Leahy said from the Senate floor ahead of the vote.
It's the latest attempt by Paul, a libertarian-leaning GOP senator, to slash spending, only to be rebuffed by a majority of his Senate colleagues. The Senate previously rejected a balanced budget proposal from Paul in June.
The Club for Growth, a conservative outside group, tried to build support for Paul's amendment ahead of Monday's vote, warning it would factor how senators voted into its legislative scorecard.
The domestic spending package marks the first fiscal 2020 spending bill to be taken up by the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kent.) moved to wrap up the bill on Monday evening, paving the way for the chamber to pass it by the end of the week. McConnell is then expected to try to bring up a mammoth defense funding bill.
"Our commanders need funding. Our men and women in military need support. Congress needs to do its job. So later this week, the Senate is going to vote again to advance defense funding," McConnell said on Monday.
However, Democrats have pledged to block the bill without a larger deal on top-line spending figures, known as 302(b)s.
They previously blocked McConnell from bringing up a defense spending bill earlier this year.
"There are certain bills that we can’t move forward on until we have some bipartisan agreement," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said last week.