Science Bill With Anti-Porn Amendment Fails

Adding an anti-porn amendment to a science authorization bill failed to assuage House Republicans, who blocked passage of the bill for the second straight week Wednesday. Republicans prevented Democrats from getting the two-thirds-majority vote needed to pass the bill on suspension. GOP leaders ripped the bill as bloated, arguing for a freeze in spending as long as there is a deficit and for the elimination of any new programs. Democrats added the same anti-porn language that Republicans used last week to attach an amendment that would have gutted the bill. But Democrats tried to put the GOP on the spot this week by putting the bill on suspension with no opportunities for another mischief-making amendment. Fifteen Republicans broke ranks; every Democrat who voted backed the bill, which failed 261-148. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) criticized Republicans for playing political games and said he would bring the bill back to the floor under a rule soon. The vote pitted Republicans against a number of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Trying to get GOP support for the measure, Democrats sliced the science authorization to three years instead of five in an effort to claim they had slashed the potential cost of the bill. Still, Republicans complained that another part of their amendment last week, one that would force universities to allow military recruiters on campuses, was not added to the bill.