Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, had been on the verge of reaching a deal to bring more than a dozen GOP amendments to the Senate floor, lawmakers said, when Mr. Cotton took the unusual step Thursday of seeking to secure a vote on amendments from himself and Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) outside the bipartisan negotiations.
“What it did was obviously very much changed the dynamic of cooperative movement forward with a large number of amendment votes and it took it in a very different direction,” Mr. Corker said of Mr. Cotton’s move. Democrats are now “probably in a place where they’re not open to additional amendments at this time,” Mr. Corker said.
As a result, Republicans may lose their chance to make Democrats face more tough votes on GOP amendments to Mr. Corker’s bill. This past week, Democrats and some Republicans blocked two GOP measures that would have altered the legislation approved unanimously by the foreign-relations panel after Messrs. Corker and Cardin struck a deal.