NY Times: (reg. req'd.)
A proposed ethics overhaul collapsed when a procedural question turned into a feud between the Democratic and Republican leaders, each accusing the other of failing to address a major theme of the fall elections.
By about 10 p.m., the proposals appeared dead for now after 46 Senate Republicans blocked a vote on a broad ethics and lobbying bill. Fifty Democrats and one Republican, Senator Gordon H. Smith of Oregon, supported going ahead with the vote, but under Senate rules, 65 votes were needed to prevail.
In an interview after the vote, Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and majority leader, said, "The Republicans killed ethics reform, period. There is no way to put frosting on this. This is as sour as any piece of legislation."