Senate Republicans have crushed Majority Leader Harry Reid’s efforts to advance a Constitutional amendment that would greatly restrict free speech and association in America.

Reid needed 60 votes to end the measure, but the votes fell 54-42 across the party line.

Via the Hill:

Earlier this week, more than 20 Republicans voted with Democrats in a 79-18 vote to advance the amendment in order to force Democrats to spend the week debating the merits of the measure.

The amendment was certain to fail at some point. It would have needed to win two-thirds support to pass the Senate, and then would still have needed to move through the House and be ratified by two-thirds of the states.

Preceeding the vote, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took Democrats to task for wasting the chamber’s time, and prioritizing Democrats’ own destructive agenda over the needs of the American people:

“Given the urgency of this situation, I have to say it’s a little disconcerting to see the Democrat-led Senate focusing on things like reducing free speech protections for the American people. At a time when the rest of the country is worried about the threat of ISIL. At a time when millions wonder how they’re ever going to find a job in this awful economy. At a time when we find out that crushing federal regulations have gotten so out of control that they now cost our economy more than $2 trillion a year. This is what they chose to make their top legislative priority this week. Taking an eraser to the First Amendment. And now they plan to devote almost all the remaining time between now and November to what Democrats like to call ‘messaging bills.’ These are bills designed intentionally to fail so that Democrats can make campaign ads about them failing.

The fact that Reid threw away days of floor debate on the upcoming budget fight to piddle around with a throwaway bill–and now plans on doing the same with several more measures doomed to failure–is proof that he’s worried about maintaining his majority after November.

He should be.

Here’s the roll call vote:

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