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U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) participates in a roundtable discussion at Chattanooga State Community College last fall.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., charged today that Democrats are preventing debate on a $574.5 billion military funding bill he says would help protect the country, troops and better equip National Guard and Reserve forces.

"Democrats have no reason to block debate on this legislation," Alexander said in a news release.

The senator said the appropriations bill "includes pay raises for our men and women in uniform, such as those serving at Fort Campbell and Naval Support Activity Mid-South."

It also provides $900 million to help the members of the National Guard and Reserve "get the equipment they need to carry out their missions," Alexander said. "This legislation would help keep our country and our troops safe in a way that's consistent with the spending limits Congress set in the Budget Control Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015."

Democrats, the senator said, "should stop their obstructionist tactics and allow the Senate to do our job and begin debate on this legislation on the Senate floor."

The Hill reported the spending bill Thursday night, making it the third appropriations bill derailed in recent weeks. 

Senators voted 50-44 on moving forward with a House-passed military spending bill, which would have been used a vehicle for the Senate's own legislation. Sixty votes were needed to move forward and formally start debate. 

The Hill quoted Democrats objecting to the legislation due to larger concerns Republicans wouldn't hold up a two-year budget deal. 
 
"We have a defense bill, it's an appropriations bill. Once that's done, the appropriations process will be wiped out and we'll be at the mercy of the Republicans in some form or fashion," the newspaper quoted Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.,ahead of the vote.

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