The Senate voted Monday to begin debate on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would grant Congress and the states the power to regulate campaign finance.
The measure cleared a procedural hurdle by a vote of 79-18. It was authored by Democrats, who had anticipated it would be blocked by GOP opposition. But Republicans voted to move ahead with debate, turning what was supposed to be a Democratic messaging bill against the Democrats.
Now, the Senate will face hours of debate on a measure that will likely make it harder for Democrats to take up other important measures in the few days left of the session. Republicans will likely vote against final passage, which would require a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes. Democrats control 55 votes.