WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday refused for a second time to stop a Republican filibuster blocking action on a political campaign reform bill that includes limits on spending by Senate candidates and provides federal financing of elections.
A third attempt to end the filibuster was set for today and a fourth for Thursday, and Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) said "no delay or obstruction" by Republicans will move him to abandon the bill.
The Senate, sticking almost strictly to party lines, voted 49 to 46 to cut off debate, 11 short of the required 60. Last week, on the first attempt, the vote was 52 to 47.
The blocked legislation, which is sponsored by Democrats, would provide partial federal financing for Senate candidates in return for fixed state-by-state limits on candidate spending.
Democrats revamped their original bill to cut by more than half the amount candidates could draw from the U.S. Treasury, but Republicans rejected the offer.
Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), Sen. David L. Boren (D-Okla.), the main sponsor of the bill, and Byrd said they were willing to negotiate a compromise, but the parties did not appear close to a bipartisan consensus.