The Washington Times - August 1, 2013, 01:55PM

Just before the Senate failed to advance a transportation and housing bill Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to give Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who was presiding over the chamber at the time, a little help.

Ms. Baldwin, Wisconsin Democrat, attempted to get order of a bustling chamber so senators could speak.


“The Senate is not in order,” she said. “The Senate will be in order.”

“Madame President, Madame President,” Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, cut in. “Have senators sit down and shut up, OK? It’s unfair. Senator [Patty] Murray has something to say. Senator [Susan] Collins has something — it’s just not polite.”

The brief exchange occurred shortly before the body failed to achieve the 60 votes necessary to close debate on the bill and move it to final passage, with the final vote tally ending up at 54-43.

With the House of Representatives’ move to pull its own version of the bill (appropriating money for the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments) from consideration Wednesday, both bodies will adjourn for their August recess without having passed a spending plan for those departments.

Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been a thorn in the side of both parties recently, apologized later Thursday at a House Republican Study Committee meeting for talking too long about his push to defund Obamacare.

The Texas Republican said it might just be the Senate culture.

“We don’t know when to shut up,” he said.