Dems block Senate defense bill, fear domestic spending cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have sidetracked a $575 billion defense bill because they say Republicans are violating last year’s budget deal and threatening to shortchange domestic programs.

Both parties strongly support the defense measure itself. But Democrats fear that if it is completed and sent to President Barack Obama, they would lose leverage with the GOP for future spending measures financing public works, law enforcement and other domestic programs.

The Senate voted 50-44 — 10 votes short of the 60 needed — to head off a Democratic filibuster against the defense measure.

As Democrats made their intentions clear, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they should be renamed “the dysfunction party.”

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid replied that the GOP was dysfunctional, since it is led by presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

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