"Their bill does nothing, zero, to solve the underlying crisis," Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said before the vote.
Democrats stood adamantly opposed to adding any policy changes, and Reid lost only two Democrats, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who defected to vote with the GOP. Behind closed doors, many Democrats viscerally opposed making policy changes, according to Senate Democratic aides, but most Democrats refrained from taking to the floor to voice their support.
"Well that's gonna be hard to come by at this late day, and because it's a life-and-death situation, I hope that we can deal with it in that context," Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin said before the vote. "The sooner we can get a clean supplemental passed the more likely it is that it'll help."
While Democratic leaders failed to deliver President Obama's funding request, they succeeded in keeping most of their caucus united, which contrasted sharply with the Republican House, which scuttled a planned vote Thursday afternoon.
The drama in the Senate took the form of Sen. John McCain of Arizona booming against Reid's amendment prohibition in an off-the-cuff speech shortly before the Senate voted.
"Now we have a humanitarian crisis on our border, a humanitarian crisis of incredible proportion, where thousands of young people while they're being transported by the coyotes, young women are being raped, they're falling off trains, terrible things are happening. And what are we presented here in the the United States Senate?" McCain said. "I say shame on you. I say shame on you for not allowing those of us who represent the states that are most affected by this to have an amendment, an amendment voted on. That is unbelievable to me."
By keeping Republicans from offering amendments, Reid saves members of his caucus from taking potentially risky political votes. At the same time he alienates Republicans and invites their fury.
Meanwhile, in the House the GOP headed into a closed-door conference meeting Thursday afternoon to hash out changes to an emergency supplemental and will reconvene for another private meeting Friday morning.
A vote will likely be held Friday, but it's one that holds no real weight as the Senate headed home for the August recess Thursday night.
Profound differences separate the chambers' emergency supplemental packages. The House bill merges policy changes with funding, while the Senate's sticks to providing money Obama requested to help curb the crisis.
The Democratic bill amounts to a $1 billion cut to the president's $3.7 billion request for the border crisis, in which some 60,000 children have streamed across the U.S. border from Central America.
The measure also provided $615 million for wildfires in the West as well as $225 million for the Israeli missile defense system known as Iron Dome.