Republicans blocked a last-ditch effort in the Senate today to lift the military's ban on openly gay troops, rejecting another project pushed vigorously by President Obama. The 57-40 vote fell three short of the 60 needed to overcome procedural hurdles to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." (Update: Two senators plan to introduce another attempt in the lame-duck session.) Republican senators were united in demanding that the Senate vote on tax cuts first. They also wanted assurances by Harry Reid they would be given extensive time debate on the overall defense bill.
"Instead of doing what is right, the world's greatest deliberative body devolved into shameful school yard spats that put petty partisan politics above the needs of our women and men in uniform," said the president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. President Obama expressed his disappointment after the vote and said "it must not be the end of our efforts." (Read more Congress stories.)