By DAVID ROGERS | 3/5/09 7:58 PM EST Updated: 3/6/09 12:22 AM EST


Senate Dems have pulled back from completing action on a giant omnibus spending bill.


Photo: AP



Short by one vote, Senate Democrats abruptly pulled back Thursday night from completing action on a giant omnibus spending bill—forcing leaders to scramble to pass a stopgap measure to keep the government funded into next week..

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) had been confident earlier in the evening that he had the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. But a half-hour after the roll call was to begin, Reid admitted he was still short and agreed to allow debate to continue for a few more days.

“Discretion is the better part of valor,” Reid quipped.

To keep agencies operating, Reid announced the House would send the Senate an interim measure running until Tuesday. Here too, he may have jumped too fast, aggravating relations with fellow Democrats on the other side of the Capitol. The result was a late night meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office but not a very different outcome: the stop gap extension, which the House is expected to take up Friday, will run through Wednesday, giving the Senate an extra day to get its ducks lined up.
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The about face is an embarrassment for Democrats and leaves President Barack Obama exposed to another weekend of Republican calls on television news shows, demanding that he veto the $409.6 billion package filled with thousands of parochial spending projects.:D

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:D Looks like the messiah didn't get his way this time.