The Senate has rejected a bill that would have blocked funding for implementation of President Obama's new healthcare law.
The 47-53 vote, which broke along party lines, was an expected result in the chamber, which is run by Democrats. The bill fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward.
The Senate agreed to hold the vote as part of the compromise spending deal negotiated last week. The deal
Although it had little chance of passing, Republicans insisted on the vote in order to put Democrats on record as defending the law – which has limited public support. The vote will likely be used as a political weapon in the 2012 campaigns.
No Democrats voted for the measure.