Democrats on Tuesday pulled the plug on an expected vote to set the budget for spending this year after liberals objected to the top-line numbers and demanded more money for non-defense spending.

The plan to vote on the numbers on Wednesday was canceled after it became clear that the measure would fail.


The bill would have increased defense spending in 2020 by $17 billion and non-defense spending by $34 billion, bringing the totals to $664 billion for defense and $631 billion for non-defense spending.

Progressives were pushing for an amendment to raise non-defense spending by an additional $33 billion, which would put it on par with defense spending. Without the amendment, many progressives threatened to vote against the legislation.

The 27-member Blue Dog Democrats, in the meantime, applied pressure from the other side, raising alarms about increased spending. 

Democrats brushed off suggestions that the division within the party reflected an ability to govern.

The House successfully passed a rule Tuesday that would allow appropriators to begin piecing together spending legislation at the cap levels outlined in the spending bill.

“The Speaker and Leader McConnell are negotiating a caps deal. We’ll see what happens with those discussions,” a senior Democratic aide said.

But some progressives begged to differ. 

Mike Lillis contributed to this report.

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