In a vote of 56-43, the Senate fell short of the 60 required votes to begin a debate on a bill regarding the policy of gays in the military and also to begin discussions on the DREAM Act that would have been added as a amendment had the bill made it past the first hurdle.
Although Democrats control 59 votes in the Senate they could not muster the needed 60.
No Republicans voted to advance the bill, and two Democrats from Arkansas, Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln, voted no. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, voted no in a procedural move so he could bring the bill back to the floor in the future.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the Republican who was waging a write-in campaign after losing her primary election, did not vote.
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate Democratic whip, vowed to bring the Dream Act back for another vote.