As expected, Senate Democrats on Tuesday afternoon fell short of breaking a Republican filibuster to begin debate on a controversial campaign finance reform bill.Senators failed along party lines, 57-41, to bring up the DISCLOSE Act, which looks to partially reverse a January Supreme Court decision on campaign spending.The measure failed to advance even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) persuaded Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) to support bringing the bill up for debate. Feinstein and Lautenberg have said they oppose the substance of the measure and are likely to oppose it on final passage, assuming Reid and Schumer can muster enough support to break the GOP blockade. Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), who was expected to side with the Democrats, was not present for the vote because of a death in the family.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.