Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe DC bubble is strangling the DNC Dems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday blocked Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulDems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts Trump team prepares dramatic cuts Paul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy MORE (R-Ky.) from attaching an amendment to the farm bill that would withhold U.S. aid to Pakistan.
Reid asked for unanimous consent Tuesday to consider a batch of five amendments to the farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S.3240), but Paul objected, arguing that his amendment on withholding aid to Pakistan should also be included.
In response, Reid performed a procedural move called “filling the tree,” or taking up all the amendment space, to keep Paul's amendment from being considered.
The amendment would have defunded U.S. aid to Pakistan until the country frees an imprisoned doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden.
Reid said the farm bill is not the place for dealing with Pakistan and urged Paul to work with him on pressuring the country through other legislation.
Reid said the Senate is working on a bill “that just does not allow something like that to come forward."
"I would like to work with him in the future, and I'm sure a number of other senators would to focus on our relations with Pakistan," Reid said, referring to Paul. "So, I would say to my friend that he doesn't stand alone in his concern, but there has to be a time and place for everything, and hopefully we can have a full debate on Pakistan in the near future."
By filling the tree, Reid blocked Paul or other senators from attaching amendments to the farm bill. Senators will have to come to an agreement on amendments or Reid will have to file cloture in order to attach more amendments to the bill.
Now, the Senate is set to hold two symbolic votes on Wednesday on two matters in the farm bill, one on food stamps and one on a U.S. sugar quota. Sens. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowOvernight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Dems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets MORE (D-Mich.) and Pat RobertsPat RobertsOvernight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Hearing derailed after senator suggests colleague needs Valium Live coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick MORE (R-Kan.), the co-sponsors of the farm bill, said that they would still try to find a "global agreement" on amendments to the farm bill.
Specifically, senators will vote to table the two amendments on Wednesday. One, by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenTrump poised to reinstate 'global gag rule' on Roe v. Wade anniversary: report Trump country Dem takes risk by skipping swearing-in 5 billion reasons Rex Tillerson is wrong MORE (D-N.H.) lowers the loan rate for producers of sugar beet crops. The other, by Paul, replaces the federal food stamp program with a state block grant system.
Reid said he had "not given up hope" for reaching a "universal agreement" on the more than 100 farm bill amendments senators had already introduced for consideration.
If the chamber does not reach an agreement on which amendments to consider, the farm bill could stall despite strong bipartisan support.
The five original amendments Reid offered before Paul objected were a motion to recommit by Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeBooker is taking orders from corporate pharmaceuticals Paul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy Right renews push for term limits as Trump takes power MORE (R-Utah), the amendments on food stamps by Paul, the Shaheen amendment, and two amendments by Sens. Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways Rethinking taxation MORE (R-Okla.) and Maria CantwellMaria CantwellWhat we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Perry regrets saying he would abolish Energy Department Dems seek more vetting for Trump nominees before hearings MORE (D-Wash.). The texts for the Coburn and Cantwell amendments were not immediately available.
—Erik Wasson contributed reporting.
This story was updated at 7:23 p.m.