Senate Democrats block spending bill over Iran Nuclear Deal

Despite early movement, the appropriations process ground to a halt in the Senate on Thursday when Democrats filibustered the energy and water spending bill to prevent a potential vote on a Republican amendment related to Iran. Democrats moved to block Sen. Tom Cotton, (R-Ark.) from offering an amendment that would ban U.S. tax dollars from being used in the future to buy heavy water from Iran, calling the amendment a "poison pill." Republicans defended Cotton's right to offer the amendment and accused Democrats of purposely derailing the bill to prevent the GOP-led Senate from getting another in a series of recent bipartisan accomplishments passed on the floor. Democrats blocked the bill from moving forward again on Friday leading to a round of recriminations from both sides. The Senate is out on recess this week and it remains unclear how and if the appropriations process will proceed when they return.