Democrats block Pentagon funding bill as Senate leaders feud

September 18, 2019 - 12:34 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have blocked debate on the almost $700 billion Pentagon budget and other spending bills amid a feud by the chamber's leaders over the rules of engagement for translating this summer's hard-won budget deal into binding legislation.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer orchestrated the party-line filibuster vote, claiming GOP leaders were shortchanging health and education and violating the bipartisan spirit of July's budget blueprint.

Democrats are also upset that the Senate version of the measure would award Trump significant increases for his U.S.-Mexico border wall and permit him to shift money from military accounts to wall funding that Congress is unwilling to OK.

Republicans countered that Democrats are injecting abortion- and wall-related fights with Trump into a time-tested process that relies on bipartisanship and compromise.